Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Plaintiff Made to File Separate Counts Against Separate Defendants In Med Mal Case

In the case of Boyd v. Shenango Presb. SeniorCare, No. 30007 of 2021, C.A. (C.P. Lawr. Co. March 22, 2023 Motto, J.), the court addressed several Preliminary Objections filed by a Defendant to a Plaintiff’s Complaint which alleged negligence arising out of the Plaintiff’s decedent’s treatment at a senior care facility.

The court sustained the Defendant’s Preliminary Objection asserting that the Complaint lacked specificity due to the fact that the Plaintiff had pled a number of different causes of action in the same Complaint in violation of Pa. R.C.P. 1020(a). The court noted that, under this Rule of Civil Procedure, each cause of action must be stated in a separate count containing a demand for relief.

In this case, the Plaintiffs’ Complaint alleged several causes of action against several Defendants in one (1) count, including alleged claims for negligence, negligence per se, and vicarious liability in a single count.

The court found that such a pleading rendered it impracticable for Defendants to understand which claims were being asserted against which Defendants. Consequently, the Defendants would not be able to properly respond to the Complaint and formulate their defenses.

As such, the Defendants’ Preliminary Objection for lack of specificity were sustained.

Several other Preliminary Objections asserted by the defense were overruled.

The court granted the Plaintiff leave to file an Amended Complaint.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (April 25, 2023).

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