Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Post-Koken Decision Out of Armstrong County in Favor of Consolidation of Claims -- Court Notes Still No Clear Appellate Precedent on this Issue

In a case of apparent first impression in Armstrong County, the court in the Post-Koken case of Stennett v. Religa and Erie Ins. Exchange, No. 2017-0491-Civil (C.P. Armstrong Co. July 24, 2017 Panchik, J.) denied a tortfeasor defendant's efforts to sever the tort claims asserted against him from the breach of contract UIM claims asserted against the carrier defendant.

In so ruling, the Stennett court noted that "there is no clear appellate precedent in Pennsylvania governing whether tort and insurance breach of contract claims, both arising out of a single accident, should proceed together."

The court ruled that the claim would proceed together in this matter through discovery without prejudice to the parties' right to seek a severance or bifurcation at the time of trial.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this Memorandum and Order in the case of Stennett may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney David M. Landay from Pittsburgh, PA law for bringing this case to my attention.

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