Monday, August 28, 2017

Pennsylvania Superior Court's Latest Take on Lamp v. Heyman Service of Process Issues (Non-Precedential)


In its recent non-precedential decision in the case of Nicolas v. Zolner, No. 1261 MDA 2016 (Pa. Super. Aug. 15, 2017 Moulton, Solano & Musmanno, J.J.) (Mem. Op. by Musmanno, J.), the court provided its latest take on the Lamp v. Heyman line of cases pertaining to proper service of original process in a civil litigation matter.  
 
In this case, the court affirmed the trial court’s granting of the Defendant’s Preliminary Objections where the Plaintiff did not make any good faith effort to complete service of original process until approximately 2 ½ years after the expiration of the statute of limitations.  
 
In so ruling, the appellate court agreed with the trial court’s rejection of the Plaintiff’s arguments that the Plaintiff’s attorney’s dealings with the Defendant’s liability carrier put the Defendant on actual notice of the litigation.   The court found that this argument to be “without merit.”   The court additionally noted that communications between the Plaintiff and a Defendant’s carrier cannot serve as a substitute for actual service of process under the Rules of Civil Procedure.  

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

 The prevailing defense attorney in this matter was Attorney Stephen T. Kopko of the Scranton, PA insurance defense firm of Foley, Comerford & Cummins.  

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