Thursday, February 22, 2018

Allegations of Recklessness and Punitive Damages Allowed to Proceed in Trucking Accident Case

In the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas case of Rosencrance v. Smith, No. S-1535-2017 (C.P. Schuylkill Co. Jan. 19, 2018 Domalakes, J.), the court denied a Defendant's Preliminary Objections to allegations of recklessness and the request for punitive damages in a rear end trucking accident case.

This matter arose out of a chain reaction accident in a construction area on Interstate 81 during which the Defendant tractor trailer driver allegedly rear-ended a vehicle, causing several additional rear end impacts up ahead, including to the Plaintiff's vehicle.

After reviewing the current status of Pennsylvania law on punitive damages, the court found that the allegations in the Plaintiff's Complaint were sufficient to allow such claims to proceed beyond the pleadings stage.  

More specifically, the Plaintiff averred that the Defendant tractor trailer failed to operate his vehicle at a safe and prudent speed in that he was unable to stop his vehicle without rear ending the vehicles ahead, that he failed to apply his brakes in time, failed to stop within the assured clear distance ahead, followed too closely, and violated several provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code.

In the end, the court denied the Defendant's Preliminary Objections to the Plaintiff's Complaint.

Anyone wishing to review this Opinion, may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Stephen J. Fendler of Fendler Law Offices in Kingston, PA for bringing this decision to my attention.

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