Monday, April 11, 2022

Commonwealth Court Weighs In on Redaction of Claims Log Notes [Unpublished Decision]

In the case of Mwambu v. Volunteer, No. 1128 C.D. 2020 (Pa. Cmwlth. March 14, 2022 Covey, J., Wallace, J., Ceisler, J.)(Op. by Ceisler, J.) (unpublished), the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed the proper redaction of claims log notes in discovery.

This matter arose out of a case in which a pedestrian Plaintiff was alleged injured when he was struck by an ambulance being driven by an employee of a municipal governmental agency.

During the course of discovery, the Defendant provided to the Plaintiff copies of notes written by employees of the Defendant’s insurance carrier regarding the claim along with an accompanying privilege log pertaining to the notes.

Within the production were redactions of information identified by the Defendant as being protected by the attorney client privilege or pertaining to mental impressions, work product, evaluations, theories, and litigation strategy of a defense representative.

The Plaintiff challenged these redactions and asserted that only opinions as to the merit or value of the claim should be redacted under the Rules of Civil Procedure.

In its Opinion, the Commonwealth Court provided its analysis on what can and cannot be redacted from claims log notes. The court seemed to follow the general rule that notations regarding any mental impressions, conclusions, or opinions by a representative of a Defendant regarding the merit or value of a claim or defense may be redacted as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. 4003.3.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this unpublished Opinion from the Commonwealth Court may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Gerald Connor of the Scranton office of the Margolis Edelstein law firm for bringing this case to my attention.

Source of Image:  Photo by Marcus Urbenz on

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