Monroe v CBH20, LP, November 21, 2022 --- A.3d ---2022 WL 17087072 (No. 1862 EDA 2019)(Pa. Super) per curiam opinion filed Nov. 21, 2022

Naked allegations of recklessness are sufficient to withstand preliminary objections.

The plaintiff in this matter was riding a zip line at a ski lodge when her legs forcefully struck the landing area. Her complaint alleged recklessness by the defendant, though no specific facts underpinning the reckless conduct were identified. The trial court dismissed allegations of recklessness sua sponte under Rule 1034 and Rule 1035.2. On appeal, the Superior Court held that dismissal under both rules was improper. Notably, the court held that dismissal under Rule 1034 (judgment on pleadings) was improper because “negligence and recklessness are states of mind. . . our procedural rules allow the plaintiff to plead gross negligence and recklessness generally. . .It would place an undue burden on the plaintiff to plead specific facts about a defendant’s state of mind at the time a lawsuit is initiated.” 

The impact of this holding is that it will make it more challenging to have allegations of recklessness dismissed at the preliminary objections phase since no factual support for allegations of recklessness needs to be pled, the mere allegation of a reckless state of mind by the defendant appears to be sufficient.

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