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Plaintiff Motion To Amend Adding Claim For Punitive Damages In Pennsylvania Trucking Case Granted

The federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania recently issued a ruling in a trucking accident case where injury was sustained.  The case is Guerra v. New Prime, Inc.,  2012  WL 2979064 (W.D. Pa. July 20, 2012) and deals with the Plaintiff’s motion to amend the Ad Damnum clause in the Complaint to seek punitive damages.  The District Court finds that the tractor trailer driver traveling at an excessive rate of speed while approaching an accident scene who collides into the rear of plaintiff’s vehicle may be subject to being responsible for punitive damages, based upon the discovery. 

The court also grants  the  plaintiff’s motion to amend Ad Damnum clause to include a request for punitives against the driver and driver’s employer.  The law states that a punitive  damages claim must be supported by evidence showing that the defendant had subjective appreciation of risk of harm to plaintiff and that defendant acted or failed to act in conscious disregard of that risk .  In this case, the  plaintiff alleged sufficient facts against driver and against the trucking company in that trucking company was aware that its driver was reported to be immature, had difficulty grasping safe driving habits and did not take instruction well .  Given these facts, the Motion to Amend is granted.

If you have an injury or a loved one is injured or killed in a Pennsylvania car crash with a truck or tractor trailer driver, feel free to contact Central Pennsylvania based Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers who specialize in personal injury accidents and can answer any questions you may have about your rights after being injured in an accident with a truck or tractor trailer driver.  If you want a copy of the opinion and order please contact Scott Cooper at Schmidt Kramer.