Monday, March 12, 2018

Superior Court Affiims That Discovery Rule Does Not Extend Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death/Survival Actions (Non-Precedential)

Tort Talkers may recall the prior Tort Talk post on the decision of Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas in the case of Estate of Marsh v. Lizza, No. 2106-CV-2812 (C.P. Lacka. Co. March 1, 2017 Nealon, J.) in which the court granted Preliminary Objections of a Defendant in a case where a Plaintiff attempted to substitute another party in a reissued Writ of Summons without the consent of the opposing parties or court and beyond the applicable statute of limitations in this wrongful death and survival action.  

As an update, it is noted that the Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed the trial court’s decision in a non-precedential Opinion under the caption of Marsh v. Lizza, No. 532 MDA 2017 (Pa. Super. Feb. 13, 2018 Olson, J., Dubow, J., and Strasberger, J.) (Non-Precedential Mem. Op. by Olson, J.).

Notably, in affirming the trial court’s decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed that the 2-year statute of limitations applicable to wrongful death and survival actions under 42 Pa. C.S.A. §5524(2) may not be extended by the discovery rule, and that the latest date on which the statue of limitations begins to run for wrongful death and survival claims is the date of the decedent’s death.  

Accordingly, the Superior Court found that, as a matter of law, the trial court properly sustained a Defendant’s Preliminary Objections and struck the Complaint.  

 Anyone wishing to review the Pennsylvania Superior Court's Non-Precedential Decision in this case may click this LINK.

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