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Raynor v. D’Annunzio

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

December 22, 2020

In Raynor v. D’Annunzio, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court played the role of a stern parent to two petulant children. The litigation that spawned this case is well-covered in the media. This particular appeal arose when Nancy Raynor — defense counsel in an earlier medical malpractice trial — commenced a Dragonetti Action against the plaintiff’s counsel from that earlier malpractice trial. At the conclusion of that malpractice trial, the plaintiff’s counsel was successful in post-trial motions and convinced the trial judge to levy such significant sanctions against Raynor that it became fodder for mainstream news. After protracted appellate litigation over those sanctions, Raynor filed this action against the plaintiff’s counsel for malicious use of civil proceedings in those post-trial motions. The trial court dismissed the claims, but the Superior Court reversed, in part. The Supreme Court appears to have taken this case specifically to tell the parties to end all aspects of this litigation. The Court held that the post-trial motions were not appropriate civil actions to support a Dragnoetti Action, ordered summary judgment for the defendants here, and issued a stern warning that “we would take a dim view of further proceedings” on remand.

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