Superior Court of Pennsylvania Affirms Trial Court’s Refusal to Open the Judgment of Non Pros Against Plaintiff

Marshall Dennehey

Atuahene v. Agondanou, Slip Copy, 2023 WL 2808476

The plaintiff filed a claim for property damage to her vehicle four years after the date of the accident. The arbitration panel dismissed her claim based on the two-year statute of limitations. The plaintiff appealed the arbitration dismissal; however, she failed appear on the date scheduled for her jury trial and then also failed to appear for jury selection for the rescheduled trial. As a result, the trial court entered a judgment of non pros against the plaintiff.

The Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division reversed, finding that the affidavits submitted by the manufacturer and distributor, detailing that they lacked the requisite control over the manner in which the franchisee dealership serviced vehicles, sufficient to support summary judgment. The plaintiff’s repeated failure to appear constituted a pattern of behavior, rather than a reasonable excuse. Moreover, the statute of limitations barred her claim.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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