Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Claims of Gross Negligence Allowed to Proceed in Tractor Trailer Accident Case

In the case of Dragone v. Pew, No. 2:22-CV-00236-GJP (E.D. Pa. Aug. 15, 2022 Pappert, J.), the court denied a Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss but granted, in part, a Motion to Strike in a case involving a motor vehicle accident in which the Plaintiff asserted claims of gross negligence.   

According to the Opinion, the court found that a claim of gross negligence was adequately pled by the Plaintiff where the Plaintiff alleged that the driver operated an overloaded truck at an excessive speed on a busy Schuylkill Expressway and failed to apply the brakes in time prior to the accident despite observing brake lights ahead.   

The court additionally held that the Plaintiff had alleged sufficient facts to move forward with a punitive damages claim where the Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant driver and his employer knew that their conduct posed a risk of harm to others and consciously disregarded those risks.   

However, the court struck the allegations requesting exemplary damages as those allegations were synonymous with the claims of punitive damages.  The court also struck the claim for attorney’s fees as there was no legal basis for the same.   

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK. The Court's Order can be viewed LINK


Source:  “Digest of Recent Opinions.”  Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Sept. 8, 2022).   

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