Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Judge Munley of Lackawanna County Addresses Standard for Scandalous and Impertinent Matter in a Complaint

 In the case of Janiszewski v. Millville Mut. Ins. Co., No. 2021-CV-839 (June 2, 2021 Munley, J.), the court addressed Preliminary Objections filed by a Defendant in an insurance bad faith action in which the Defendants sought to strike internet reviews of the Defendant insurance company from the Complaint as scandalous and impertinent matter.   

After reviewing the record before the court in this property damage homeowner’s insurance claim, and applying the law relative to efforts to strike allegedly scandalous and impertinent information, the court denied the Defendant’s Preliminary Objections.   

In so ruling, the court cited to precedent confirming that, “[t]o be scandalous and impertinent, the allegations must be immaterial and inappropriate to the proof of the cause of action.”  See Op. at p. 4.

The court noted that, whereas here, the allegations in the Plaintiff’s Complaint are material, relevant, and supportive of the Plaintiff’s causes of action and where a Defendant cannot affirmatively show prejudice by the inclusion of the allegations, the allegations should not be stricken as scandalous or impertinent. 

As stated, the Preliminary Objections were denied here where the negative internet reviews that were referenced in the Complaint were related to denial of claims by the carrier, which the court felt would be material and pertinent to the Plaintiff’s bad faith causes of action contained in the Complaint at issue in this case.   

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

Source of Image: Photo by Andrew Neel on

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