Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Severance Denied in Washington County Post-Koken Case

On February 15, 2011, Judge John F. DiSale, of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas issued a two sentence Order in the case of Hoffman v. Ellis and State Farm, No. 2011-8417 (C.P. Wash. Co. Feb. 15, 2011 DiSale, J.,) overruling a Defendant’s Preliminary Objections and Motion to Sever a post-Koken automobile accident litigation. The Court did state in its Order that it would “reconsider the issue of Severence prior to trial.”

The information I have is that the Preliminary Objections and the Motion to Sever were filed by counsel for the tortfeasor Defendant.

It is also noted that this ruling differs from a prior Washington County Decision by Judge Loughran, a visiting judge from Westmoreland County, who granted severance in the case of Barcus v. Mannino and Allstate Insurance Company, 2009-Civil-10171 (C.P. Wash. Co. June 15, 2010, Loughran, S.J.). The Tort Talk post on the Barcus case be viewed here.

I tip my hat to Attorney Kassie Segmiller of the Pittsburgh law firm of Segmiller & Mendicino for bringing this case to my attention.

Anyone desiring a copy of this decision by the Washington County Court of Common Pleas in the case of Hoffman v. Ellis and State Farm may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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