Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Lackawanna County Continues With the Minority Rule of Allowing the Pleading of Recklessness in Every Case Regardless of Facts

In the case of Mangieri v. Chen, No. 22-CV-3149 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Oct. 18, 2022, Gibbons, J.), the court denied Preliminary Objections filed by a tortfeasor Defendant challenging the Plaintiff’s allegations of recklessness and for punitive damages in a rear-end accident matter.

The court noted that, in this rear-end accident matter, the Plaintiff alleged that the tortfeasor Defendant operated his vehicle in an outrageous, careless, and reckless manner. The Plaintiff also sought punitive damages.

The tortfeasor filed Preliminary Objections asserting that the Plaintiff’s allegations of reckless, willful and wanton conduct were baseless legal conclusions lacking any factual support.

Judge Gibbons followed the trend in Lackawanna County by ruling that recklessness is a state of mind which can be averred generally under Pa. R.C.P. 1019(b) such that the Plaintiff’s claims for punitive damages were allowed to proceed. In so ruling, the court again referred to the case of Archibald v. Kemble, 971 A.2d 513, 519 (Pa. Super. 2009), appeal denied, 989 A.2d 914 (Pa. 2010).

In concluding his Opinion, Judge Gibbons confirmed that the tortfeasor Defendant would have the opportunity to revisit this argument at a later time of the case at the summary judgment stage. However, in the context of the Preliminary Objections, the same were overruled and the Plaintiff’s Complaint was allowed to proceed.

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

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