Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Allegations of Recklessness and Claims for Punitive Damages Stricken From Standard Auto Accident Complaint

In her recent decision in the case of Wasilow v. Allen, No. C.48-CV-2016-00633 (C.P. North. Co. Sept. 2, 2016 Sletvold, J.), Judge Jennifer R. Sletvold of the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas sustained Preliminary Objections filed by a Defendant in a motor vehicle accident case thereby striking allegations of reckless conduct asserted by the Plaintiff in the Complaint.  

In this matter, the Plaintiff generally alleged that the collision occurred as a result of the Defendant’s carelessness, negligence, and recklessness.   The Plaintiff more specifically alleged that the Defendant failed to have his vehicle under proper control, failed to observe other vehicles on the road, failed to keep a reasonable lookout for other vehicles, failed to operate his vehicle in accordance with traffic conditions, failed to exercise due care under the circumstances, and was operating his vehicle closer than was reasonable and prudent under the circumstances given the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon the roadway.  

The court found that these types of allegations did not rise to the level of recklessness or support the Plaintiff’s claims for punitive damages.  

As such, the Defendant’s Preliminary Objections were sustained the Plaintiff’s allegations of recklessness, reckless conduct, as well as the Plaintiff's request for punitive damages, were all stricken from the Complaint. 

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.  

I send thanks to Attorney William Courtright, in-house counsel for Progressive in Moosic, Pennsylvania for bringing this case to my attention.   

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