Friday, December 9, 2022

Court Addresses Ability of Non-Settled Defendant To Have Settled Defendants On the Verdict Slip

In the case of Williams v. Glenmaura Senior Living at Montage, LLC, No. 21-CV-1494 (C.P. Lacka. Co. Nov. 7, 2022 Nealon, J.), the court considered a motion filed by a Defendant doctor for reconsideration of the court’s previous Orders which discontinued the case as to other named Defendants which previous dismissal from the case of those Defendants was based upon those Defendants entering into earlier joint tortfeasor settlement agreements with the Plaintiff.

According to the Opinion, this case arose out of a medical professional liability action against numerous Defendants related to a slip and fall event that occurred on the premises after which the alleged negligent treatment by the medical Defendants allegedly resulted in the death of the Plaintiff.

After reviewing Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 229 regarding the Discontinuance of actions, the court rejected the moving medical Defendant’s argument that the settled Defendants must remain in the case and on the Verdict Slip.

In this regard, the court found no evidence presented by the moving Defendant that warranted keeping the settling Defendants in the case. Of note, the court stated that there was no valid expert evidence that would be presented by the moving Defendants to keep the settled Defendants in the case. 

The court also noted that the moving Defendants reference to certain standard of care and causation opinions of one of the experts in the case was not admissible as such testimony constituted hearsay. The court reiterated the rule of law that one expert may not act as mere conduit or transmitter of the content of an admissible evidence or other expert opinion where the testifying expert does not bring to bear on it his own expertise or judgment.

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

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