DRAGONETTI-DAMAGES-PROOF OF WRONGFUL USE OF CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

October 19th, 2016 by Rieders Travis in Procedure

Miller v. St. Luke’s Uiv. Health Network, 142 A.3d 884 (Pa. Super. 2016).  “The question before us, therefore, is whether the trial court properly declined to instruct the jury that Dragonetti Act damages are presumed to flow from a defendant’s wrongful use of civil proceedings in favor of instructing, instead, that a plaintiff who proves wrongful use still carries the burden of proving resultant damages…We, therefore, dismiss Appellant’s challenge to the jury charge as meritless.”  In spite of the jury’s finding of a violation of the Dragonetti Act, the jury had the right to find that there were no damages.  The court did not disturb the jury’s determination that there was no probable cause in pursuing the claim of wrongful use of civil proceedings.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]

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