Friday, February 3, 2023

Superior Court Affirms Entry of Judgment Against a Negligent Spoliation of Evidence Claim Cloaked As A Promissory Estoppel Claim

 In the case of Erie Ins. Exch. v. United Services Auto. Assoc., 2022 Pa. Super. 207 (Pa. Super. Dec. 6, 2022 Olson, J., Colins, J., Dubow, J.) (Op. by Colins, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that there is no recognized cause of action in Pennsylvania for negligent spoliation of evidence.

In this matter, in which involved fire damage claims and the right to conduct an investigation as to the cause of a fire, the court granted summary judgment for the Defendant on a promissory estoppel claim which claim was brought in an effort to recover damages for the negligent spoliation based upon an agreement to indefinitely preserve evidence.   

The Superior Court affirmed the trial court's finding that the promissory estoppel claim was essentially disguised as a negligent spoliation of evidence cause of action. Since such claims are not recognized in Pennsylvania, the Court affirmed the entry of judgment against this promissory estoppel claim.

While a Link to the decision was previously provided in this post, this post was updated once that Opinion was withdrawn by the Court in light of the fact that the case was moving on to an en banc consideration.

Source:  “Court Summaries.”  by Timothy L. Clawges in the Pennsylvania Bar News (Jan. 2, 2023).

UPDATE: This decision was withdrawn by the Superior Court under an Order dated February 9, 2023 when it granted a reargument en banc.

I send thanks to Attorney Brook T. Dirlam of the Pittsburgh, PA office of Thomas, Thomas & Hafer for letting me know this update.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.