Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Judge Brann of Middle District Addresses Viability of Claims of Recklessness and Punitive Damages

In a recent decision in the case of Wilson v. TA Operating, LLC, 4:14-CV-00771 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 13, 2017 Brann, J.), Judge Matthew W. Brann of the Middle District Federal Court of Pennsylvania denied a Partial Motion for Summary Judgment and held that allegations of negligent automobile repairs can rise to the level of recklessness required to support a claim for punitive damages.  

The court found that genuine issues of material fact and evidence concerning mechanic training and supervision serve to defeat the Motion for Summary Judgment.

The court also ruled that a principal, such as an employer, can be held vicariously liable for punitive damages if the actions of its agent, or employee, in the course of employment were reckless.   A ratification or direction of the acts by the principal, or employer, is not required for this finding of vicarious liability.  

Here is a LINK to the Court's Order.  Here is a LINK to the Court's supporting Opinion.

I send thanks to Attorney James Beck of the Philadelphia law office of Reed Smith for bringing this case to my attention.


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