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“Split in authority” makes federal court the preferred forum for defending a UTPCPL claim.

April 1, 2019
McDonough v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 5:18-cv-02247, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19806, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 7, 2019)

The plaintiff filed suit alleging violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), among other counts. The defendant moved to dismiss the UTPCPL claim, arguing the economic loss doctrine barred recovery under the UTPCPL. In granting the defendant’s request to dismiss the count, the Eastern District acknowledged that the motion would likely have been denied at the state-court level. Judge Leeson cited a “split in authority” on the issue, whereby federal courts interpret Pennsylvania law as barring recovery under the doctrine, while intermediate appellate state courts have recently ruled the exact opposite. Until the Pennsylvania Supreme Court formally weighs in, a defendant is much more likely to defeat a UTPCPL claim at the pleading stage in a federal forum.


Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2019

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