Thursday, May 27, 2021

Factually Unsupported Allegations Asserted in a New Matter in a Med Mal Case Stricken



In the case of Arens v. Remick, No. 20-CV-21 (C.P. Lacka. Co. April 30, 2021, Nealon, J.), Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas issued a detailed Order addressing Preliminary Objections filed by Plaintiffs seeking to strike numerous paragraphs in the Defendants’ New Matter under an argument that the affirmative defenses asserted by the medical malpractice Defendants are legally insufficient and/or without the requisite factual specificity or support.

In his Order, Judge Nealon emphasized that Pennsylvania is a fact-pleading state and that pleadings must advise the opposing party of the claims or defenses being asserted and summarize the essential facts supporting those claims and/or defenses.

After reviewing the standard or review in addressing a claim that a pleading lacks the requisite factual support, the court found that certain allegations in the Defendants’ New Matter did not provide the Plaintiffs with adequate notice of the defenses being raised. The court also noted that the Complaint was devoid of any allegations that made some of the defenses raised in the New Matter even applicable to the case presented.

As such, the court struck certain paragraphs of the New Matter as being in violation of Pa. R.C.P. 1019(a), which governs the required contents of all pleadings. However, the court did allow the Defendants the opportunity to file an Amended New Matter with respect to the affirmative defenses at issue.

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

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