Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Court Holds Defense to Task with New Matter Pleadings

In the case of Kremser v. Lindauer, No. CV-21-0022 (C.P. Lyc. Co. April 30, 2021 Tira, J.), the court granted a Plaintiff’s Preliminary Objections to a Defendant’s Answer and New Matter in a motor vehicle accident case.

In its New Matter, the defense included a paragraph that stated that the “Defendant reserves the right to raise additional affirmative defenses which may become known during the investigation of this case or throughout the discovery process.”

The trial court sustained the Plaintiff’s Preliminary Objections this New Matter pleading. The court emphasized that Pennsylvania is a fact-pleading state.  The court noted that, under Pa. R.C.P. 1019(a), “the material facts on which a cause of action or defense is based shall be stated in concise and summary form.”  As such, all pleadings must sufficiently stated  in order to put the opponent on notice of the issues presented.

The court also sustained the Defendant’s assertion of an affirmative defense in the New Matter in which the Defendant cited to the entirety of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. The court stated that such catch-all all provisions are improper under the Rules of Civil Procedure whether they are attempted by a plaintiff or a defendant.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (July 6, 2021).

Source of Image:  Photo by Wesley Tingey on

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