Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Sanctions Awarded For Unreasonable and Vexatious Litigation

 In the case of Chicka v. Hearing Health PA., LLC, No. 2:21-CV-1405 (W. D. Pa. Feb. 23, 2023 Horan, J.), the court found that a Plaintiff’s attorney was subject to sanctions for unreasonable and vexatious litigation where the Plaintiff’s attorney unnecessarily delayed the proceedings for over a year as the case remained mired in the pleadings given that defense counsel was required to prepare multiple Motions to Dismiss to address repeated substantive and procedural errors that should have been easily remedied through simple cooperation.   

The court noted that, under 28 U.S.C. §1927, an attorney who multiples the proceedings unreasonably and vexatiously may be personally liable for the resulting costs, expenses, and attorney’s fees incurred.   

The court found that the four (4) elements required to be shown for sanctions were met in this case, including the elements of (1) multiplied proceedings; (2) unreasonable and vexatious conduct; (3) increased costs of the proceedings; and (4) bad faith or intentional misconduct.   

The court noted that it would schedule a separate hearing to determine the amount of sanctions to be awarded.   

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

Source:  “Digest of Recent Opinions.”  Pennsylvania Law Weekly (March 23, 2023). 

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