Pennsylvania

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Statutes of Limitations (PENNSYLVANIA)

Personal Injury - 2 yrs. [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524]

Wrongful Death - 2 yrs. [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524]

Med Mal- 2 yrs. [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524]

Property Damage - 2 yrs. [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524]

Contracts (Written and Oral) - 4 yrs.[42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5525]

Contracts for Sale (goods) and Breach of Warranty - 4 yrs. (from tender of delivery) [13 Pa.C.S.A. § 2725]

 

Under Pennsylvania’s discovery rule, every plaintiff has duty to exercise reasonable diligence in ascertaining existence of injury and its cause; whether plaintiff has exercised reasonable diligence in ascertaining existence of injury and its cause is ordinarily jury question under Pennsylvania’s discovery rule [Bohus v. Beloff, 950 F.2d 919 (3rd Cir. 1991)]

 

 

Statutes of Repose (PENNSYLVANIA)

Products - None.

Construction to Real Property - 12 yrs. (14 yrs. if injury/death occurred within more than 10 yrs. and within 12 yrs.) [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5536]

 

 

Claims Public/Gov. Entities (NOTE: “Sovereign Immunity” Limitations May Apply) (PENNSYLVANIA)

All Government - Notice within 6 mos. [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5522].  Note: government units are usually immune from subrogation claims [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8553].

 

 

Comparative Negligence (PENNSYLVANIA)

Modified comparative (damages are diminished in proportion to Plaintiff’s fault, but Plaintiff cannot recover if he is 51% at fault) [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102]

 

 

Made Whole Doctrine (MWD) (PENNSYLVANIA)

Recognized and passively applied.  Insurer’s claim against Insured, seeking to exercise subrogation rights to $20,000 that Insured received from Tortfeasor’s insurer failed to state cause of action, where Insured had not recouped all of his losses. [Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. DiTomo, 478 A.2d 1381 (Pa.Super. 1984)]

 

A right to subrogation may be contractually declared, but even then the right is to be regarded as based on equitable principles, since the right of subrogation exists wholly apart from contractual provision.  However, when a subrogor settles, he waives his right to a judicial determination of his losses, and conclusively establishes settlement amount as full compensation for his damages. [Associated Hospital Service of Philadelphia v. Pustilnik, 396 A.2d 1332 (Pa. Super. 1979)]

 

 

 

Economic Loss Doctrine (ELD) (Assuming No Injury to Person or Damage to “Other Property”) (PENNSYLVANIA)

Recognized/applied.  Negligence and strict liability theories did not apply in action between commercial enterprises where only damage was to product itself even if product defect posed risk of other damage or injury or manifested itself in sudden and calamitous occurrence [REM Coal Co., Inc. v. Clark Equipment Co., 563 A.2d 128 (Pa. Super. 1989)].  ELD precludes recovery in tort for economic losses arising from breach of contract [Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau v. Visitor's Services, Inc., 28 F.Supp.2d 947 (E.D. Pa. 1998)]

 

Possible exception is negligent misrepresentation.  ELD did not bar general contractor’s recovery against architect for purely economic damages due to negligent misrepresentations by architect in specifications and plans for construction of school upon which contractor relied in submitting winning bid, despite lack of privity of contract; architect had obligation to exercise ability, skill and care customarily used by architects on construction projects, and it was reasonably foreseeable that contractor would rely on architect's specifications; tort of negligent misrepresentation is narrowly tailored, as it applies only to businesses which provide services and/or information that they know will be relied upon by third parties in their business endeavors, and it includes a foreseeability requirement, thereby reasonably restricting the class of potential plaintiffs. [Bilt-Rite Contractors, Inc. v. The Architectural Studio, 866 A.2d 270 (Pa. 2005)]

 

Another possible exception is claims under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.  However, courts are split on this issue [Knight v. Springfield Hyundai, 81 A.3d 940 (Pa. Super. 2013); Werwinski v. Ford Motor Co., 286 F.3d 661 (3rd Cir. 2002)]

 

 

 

Certificate/Affidavit Of Merit Requirements (Claims Against Licensed Professionals) (PENNSYLVANIA)

In any action based upon an allegation that a licensed professional deviated from an acceptable professional standard, Plaintiff must file a certificate of merit [Pa.R.C.P. No. 1042.3].  Licensed professionals include health care providers, architects, engineers, land surveyors [Pa.R.C.P. No. 1042.1].

 

 

Landlord/Tenant Subrogation (PENNSYLVANIA)

Subrogation allowed.  Shopping center tenant was not implied coinsured with shopping center owner under owner’s fire policy and thus could be sued by shopping center owner or its fire carrier, as subrogee, for fire damage caused by tenant’s negligence. [Remy v. Michael D's Carpet Outlets, 571 A.2d 446 (Pa. Super. 1990)]

 

 

 

Reimbursement of Deductible(s) (PENNSYLVANIA)

Auto - Pro rata (must include in subro demand).  Property - No law available.

 

 

MedPay/PIP (PENNSYLVANIA)

PIP and MedPay - Status unclear.  Although subrogation seems to be precluded by statute [75 Pa.C.S 1720], an unpublished opinion seems to indicate that said statue does not precluded subrogation after all, if it does not interfere with insured’s right of recovery [State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Christian Soxman, No. 2659 EDA 2010 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2011)]

 

 

 

Liability of Parents (PENNSYLVANIA)

Any parent whose child is found liable or is adjudged guilty of a tortious act is liable to the person who suffers the injury [23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5505]. $1,000 for 1 victim ($2,500 if more than 1 victim) for injuries suffered as a result of one tortious act or continuous series of tortious acts [23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5505]

 

 

 

Joint Liability (PENNSYLVANIA)

Several (Plaintiff can recover from each Defendant only that Defendant’s share of liability).  Exceptions (joint and several liability applies): (1) Defendants who are 60% or more at fault; (2) intentional misrepresentation; (3) intentional torts; and (4) environmental torts. [42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102].

 

 

 

Independent Cause of Action for Evidence Spoliation (PENNSYLVANIA)

Pennsylvania has not recognized a cause of action for negligent spoliation of evidence.  [Pyeritz v. Com, 32 A.3d 687 (Pa. 2011)]

 

 

 

Conflicts of Law (PENNSYLVANIA)

Court will looks to the law of the jurisdiction with the most significant relationship to the occurrence and the parties, placing importance on analysis of the policies underlying the conflicting laws and the relationship of the particular contacts to those policies [Ario v. Underwriting Members of Lloyd's of London Syndicates 33, 205 and 506, 996 A.2d 588 (Pa.Cmwlth.Ct.2010)]