Sunday, October 23, 2011

Detailed Opinion out of Lackawanna County on Defamation, Fraud, Res Judicata, and Collateral Estoppel Issues

For those of you who deal with the torts of defamation and fraud, and for those of you who are facing a res judicata or collateral estoppel issue, I have come across a recent Opinion by Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas outlining the current status of the law on these causes of action in the case of Davis v. PPL Sustainable Energy Fund, 10 - CV - 706 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Oct. 13, 2011 Nealon, J.)

This case involved a former board member of a non-profit energy conservation fund who sued the fund's directors and agents alleging fraud and defamation in orchestrating his removal from the board.  Judge Nealon denied the Defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings and found that the Plaintiff had indeed stated valid causes of action for defamation and fraud.

The Opinion also analyzes in detail the difference between the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel in terms of the defense argument that the Plaintiff's claims were previously adjudicated before an administrative agency.  The trial court found that the Plaintiff was not precluded from pursuing the claims presented since the tort claims were not at issue in the prior administrative proceedings.

Anyone desiring a copy of Judge Nealon's 28 page Opinion in the case of Davis v. PPL Sustainable Energy Fund may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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