Legal Memorandum: Factors Considered for Summary Judgment

Issue: Under Pennsylvania law, what factors help a court determine whether issues of material fact exist such that summary judgment is inappropriate?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Summary judgment; Genuine issues of material fact exist; Prove damages
Jurisdiction: Pennsylvania
Cited Cases: 674 A.2d 1038
Cited Statutes: Pa. R. Civ. P. 1035.2
Date: 02/01/2001

A summary judgment motion will not be granted where a defendant has argued that the plaintiff cannot prove damages, and that decedent’s children are not entitled to recover because they had reached the age of majority before decedent’s death.  Rule 1035.2, which provides:

After the relevant pleadings are closed, but within such time as not to unreasonably delay trial, any party may move for summary judgment in whole or in part as a matter of law

(1) whenever there is no genuine issue of any material fact as to a necessary element of the cause of action or defense which could be established by additional discovery or expert report, or

(2) if, after the completion of discovery relevant to the motion, including the production of expert reports, an adverse party who will bear the burden of proof at trial has failed to produce evidence of facts essential to the cause of action or defense which in a jury trial would require the issues to be submitted to a jury.

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