Monday, April 9, 2018

Sanctions Issued in Pike County Case Due to Plaintiffs' Alleged Failure to Comply with Multiple Discovery Orders Compelling Completion of Depositions

Sanctions were granted against a Plaintiff in the Pike County Post-Koken auto accident case of Middaugh v. Horacek and State Farm Ins. Co., No. 691-2011 Civil (C.P. Pike Co. April 2, 2018 Miller, S.J.) due to the Plaintiff's alleged failure to cooperate with the defense efforts to complete the Plaintiff's deposition.  The motion for sanctions at issue was decided by visiting Judge Linda Wallach Miller of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas sitting by assignment in Pike County.

Due to the failure to complete depositions, each of the three named Plaintiffs were ordered to pay $1,000 each as a sanction and, as a further sanction, the Plaintiffs were additionally prohibited from providing any evidence at trial in support of a claim for damages.

According to the opinion, the case had been in litigation for six years over which the Pike County Court had issued two separate Orders compelling that depositions be completed within certain deadlines.  When such depositions were not completed, the defense filed the Motion for Sanctions at issue.

In her Opinion, Judge Miller reviewed the factors to be considered under Pa.R.C.P. 4019 when addressing a discovery motion for sanctions.

The court ultimately ruled that sanctions were warranted where the case had been pending for six years and where the Plaintiff's depositions had not been completed despite the issuance of two separate court orders compelling the same.

As the case makes for an interesting read, I provide this LINK to the Opinion.

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