Thursday, November 10, 2016

Superior Court Addresses Procedural Impact of Death of Defendant Before Case Filed (Non-Precedential)

In the non-precedential decision of Vincigueria v. Tunstall, No. 403 WDA 2016 (Pa. Super. Sept. 23, 2016 Lazarus, Olson, Platt, JJ.) (Mem. Op. Platt, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court found that a trial court properly dismissed a Plaintiff’s action against a driver of the other car involved in the subject motor vehicle accident because the other driver had died before the action was filed, the statute of limitations had expired, and there was no evidence to show any fraudulent concealment in order to toll the statute of limitations.  The court additionally found that the Plaintiff’s own lack of due diligence precluded applying the relation back doctrine. 

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff filed her action more than eight (8) months after the other driver’s death and did not name the other driver’s personal representative as a Defendant and also failed to file any action against the other driver’s estate within one (1) year of the other driver’s death.     It was additionally noted in the Opinion that the Sheriff’s Department had notified the Plaintiff of the other driver’s death when the Sheriff attempted to complete service.  

Anyone wishing to review this non-precedential memorandum opinion may click this LINK.

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