The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently issued an opinion in Meadows v. Goodman. The case involved a car accident in Philadelphia County where the Plaintiff filed a Complaint and the Defendant answered the Complaint with new matter alleging that a third person was the operator of the vehicle. Prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, a “Motion to Amend Complaint” was filed and then denied by the trial court. From the record, the motion was really mistitled and instead should have been titled as a Motion to Join an Additional Defendant. Ultimately, the statute expired, the Defendant was not added and case was dismissed by the trial court. The Plaintiff appealed.
The Superior Court reversed the decision and states that although the title of the pleading was incorrect, the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure are to read liberally. Therefore, applying Rule 126, the Court held that the mistitled pleading should have been treated as a Motion to Join Additional Defendant. Thus, the court should have granted the motion since neither the Defendant or new Additional Defendant would be prejudiced when the Motion was filed well prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
By: Scott B. Cooper, Esquire (paaj_autolaw)