Friday, September 16, 2011

Judge Terrence Nealon of Lackawanna County Addresses Typical Objections to Pleadings in Auto Accident Complaint

In an Opinion handed down last Friday in the case of Freethy v. Goike, No. 2011 - CV - 530 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Sept. 9, 2011 Nealon, J), Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas Judge Terrence Nealon addressed recurring issues that typically arise in the form of preliminary objections to a complaint filed in auto accident cases.

More specifically, in this case the Defendant objected to the Plaintiff's Complaint based on Connor, asserting that the Plaintiff had not cited the specific sections of the Vehicle Code that the Defendant had allegedly violated 

Judge Nealon primarily relied upon the decision in Com., Dept. of Transportation v. Shipley Humble Oil Company, 370 A.2d 438, 440 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1977) to overrule the preliminary objections in this regard.  That decision states that specific statute provisions need not be identified so long as the plaintiff avers facts that bring the claim within the statute.

The Defendant in the Freethy case also objected to the Plaintiff's allegations of wanton and reckless conduct, asserting that such allegations lacked factual support.  According to the Opinion, this matter involved a high speed accident in a construction zone.
Judge Nealon  pointed to  Archibald v. Kemble, 971 A.2d 513, 519 (Pa. Super. 2009), app. denied, 605 Pa. 678, 989 A.2d 914 (2010) in support of his holding that that wanton and reckless conduct are conditions of the mind that may be averred generally under Pa.R.C.P. 1019.  Accordingly, these preliminary objections were overruled as well.
Anyone desiring a copy of Judge Nealon's Opinion in Freethy v. Goike may contact me at

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