Superior Court Affirms Directed Verdict Obtained on Behalf of Property Management Company

Apr 9, 2020 | News

Attorney Stephen Guzzetti successfully defends property management client.

Plaintiff alleged in the trial court that Defendant acted in a capricious and bad faith manner by singling him out for violations of the covenants and restrictions of his planned development, and requested relief from several thousand dollars in fines, as well as an award of punitive damages. In advance of trial, Defendant filed motions in limine requesting that Plaintiff be precluded from entering certain evidence concerning the legal relationship between Plaintiff and Defendant, and components of Plaintiff’s damages claims.

The trial court granted all but one of Defendant’s motions in limine, after which the matter proceeded directly to trial. At the close of evidence, Defendant moved for a directed verdict on grounds that Plaintiff had failed to establish facts sufficient for any reasonable jury to find in Plaintiff’s favor on any of the essential elements of Plaintiff’s case, including that Defendant breached a duty to Plaintiff and caused the harm alleged. The Court agreed, and directed that the verdict be entered in favor of the Defendant.

Plaintiff filed a Motion for Post-Trial Relief requesting a new trial on the asserted grounds that the trial court erred and/or abused its discretion in numerous respects, including in granting three of the Defendants’ motions in limine, and in directing the verdict in the Defendants’ favor. Plaintiff’s motion was denied. Plaintiff then appealed these issues to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Following extensive briefing, the Superior Court found that the trial court’s decision to grant Defendant’s motions in limine, and to enter a directed verdict against Plaintiff, was amply supported by the record and the law, and affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

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