Thursday, December 15, 2022

Court Denies Plaintiff Right to File Amended Complaint to Correct Name of the Defendant Driver After Plaintiff Waited Too Long To Do So


In the case of Myrick v. Hall, April Term 2020, No. 00794 (C.P. Phila. Co. Aug. 15, 2022 Shreeves-Johns, J.), the court affirmed the trial court’s Order granting a Motion to Dismiss and denying a Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to file an Amended Complaint to correct the name of the Defendant driver. in the Complaint.

In its decision, the court focused upon the fact that, although the Plaintiff knew that they had sued the wrong party in the Complaint’s caption, the Plaintiff did not seek to cure this defect until after the applicable statute of limitations had expired.

The court pointed to Supreme Court precedent holding that, where the statute of limitations has run, amendments will not be allowed to introduce a new cause of action or to bring in a new party.

The court emphasized that, based upon the Plaintiff’s own admission, the Plaintiff was aware that an adult male was driving the vehicle involved in the subject accident, but nevertheless chose to name a female as the Defendant driver in the Complaint. It turned out that the husband of the named Defendant driver was the actual driver during the course of the accident.

The court noted that the Plaintiff did not act with haste and took over six (6) months to attempt to cure the defects in their pleading after having become aware of the actual driver’s identity.

As such, in the Rule 1925 Opinion, the trial court asserted that the it did not abuse its discretion by granting the named Defendant driver’s motion to dismiss and denying the Plaintiff’s request for leave to amend the Complaint to identify the correct driver.

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

Source of Image:  Photo by Varvara Grabova on www.unsplash.com.



Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Nov. 22, 2022).

 



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