Monday, April 10, 2017

Pennsylvania Superior Court's Latest Take on the Dead Man's Rule

For the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s latest take on the Dead Man’s Statute, 42, Pa. C.S.A. 5930 in the case of Davis v. Wright, 2017 Pa. Super. 48 (Pa. Super. Feb. 27, 2017 Shogan, Ott, J.J., Stevens, P.J.E.)(Op. by Stevens, P.J.E.).

In this matter, arising out of a fatal motor vehicle accident, the Pennsylvania Superior Court found that Dead Man’s Statute was not waived by the Defendant’s participation in discovery when no depositions or Interrogatories were completed.  

The court additionally noted that this defense under the Dead Man’s Statute did not need to be raised as an affirmative defense in a New Matter pursuant to Pa. R.C.P. 1030 in order to be preserved.  

Moreover, the court otherwise noted that the issues of negligence in this automobile accident case could not be established by the testimony of a police officer who did the accident report but who had no independent recollection of the incident.  

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

Source: “Case Summaries” by Timothy L. Clawges, Pennsylvania Bar News (March 20, 2017).

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