Sayers v. Heritage Valley Medical Group, Inc.

In Sayers v. Heritage Valley Medical Group, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the Court of Common Pleas’ order sustaining the defendants’ preliminary objections. The defendants alleged that the plaintiff failed to toll the statute of limitations through the issuance of a writ of summons. The defendants raised this failure in preliminary objections. The plaintiffs did not argue over the substance of the statute of limitations defense but asserted that the defense must be in new matter and not in preliminary objections. The Superior Court held that there is an exception to the requirement that a statute of limitations defense must be raised in new matter and not via preliminary objections where (1) all parties briefed and argued the merits of the statute of limitations defense, and the trial court considered the same, and (2) the record demonstrated that if the statute of limitations defense were raised in new matter, defendant’s right to judgment on the pleadings is clear. Here, those elements were found, and thus the preliminary objections were properly sustained.

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