Monday, June 19, 2017

Judge Conaboy of Federal Middle District Court Rules On Punitive Damages Issues In Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Case

In his recent decision in the commercial motor vehicle accident case of Kane v. DG Express, No. 3:16-CV-216 (M.D.Pa. May 18, 2017 Conaboy, J.), Judge Richard P. Conaboy denied the defendants’ Motion in Limine seeking to preclude Plaintiff’s punitive damages claim. The decision held that a Motion in Limine is an inappropriate vehicle for an effect -- the preclusion of a claim – that should have been the subject of a case dispositive motion, such as a motion to dismiss at the pleadings stage, or a motion for summary judgment after the conclusion of discovery. 

Judge Conaboy also denied the Defendants’ Motion in Limine which sought to preclude the testimony of Plaintiff’s liability expert witness. In so doing, the Court noted that it was persuaded that expert testimony regarding what level of competence and care a professional driver should exhibit, and what risks such a driver must necessarily anticipate, may assist the jury in determining whether the negligence already admitted by the Defendants rose to the level of reckless indifference that is necessary to support an award of punitive damages.

Anyone wishing to review this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to the prevailing Plaintiff's Attorney Richard A. Russo of the Wilkes-Barre, PA law firm of Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald for bringing this case to my attention.


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