Monday, September 30, 2019

Trial Court Rules that New Matter Defenses Must Be Supported by Factual Allegations

In the case of Mayernick v. Pattie, No. 2019-GN-1434 (C.P. Blair Co. Aug. 23, 2019 Doyle, J.), the court sustained certain Preliminary Objections filed by a Plaintiff to New Matter defenses asserted by a Defendant in a case arising out of a motor vehicle accident.  

The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants failed to plead with sufficient specificity the affirmative defenses raised in their New Matter, including defenses with respect to the statute of limitations, allegations of intervening superseding causes of the alleged damages, claims that the Plaintiff failed to mitigate her damages, and claims that the Plaintiff may have selected the Limited Tort Option.  

The Plaintiff asserted that the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure require fact pleading even with respect to New Matter defenses and that the lack of specificity subjected the Plaintiff to possible unfair surprise at trial. 

After reviewing the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 1019(a), the court noted that general, boilerplate allegations without specific factual averments averred in support of such allegations supported the sustaining of the Preliminary Objections to the New Matter pled in this case.  

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

I send thanks to Attorney Paul T. Oven of the Moosic, Pennsylvania law office of Dougherty, Leventhal & Price for bringing this decision to my attention. 

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