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Randazzo v. Grandy

April 29, 2010

ELAINE RANDAZZO AND ANGELO RANDAZZO, HER HUSBAND, PLAINTIFFS
v.
ALDRIC GRANDY AND D'ELIA EXPRESS, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Blewitt

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. Background

Plaintiffs, Elaine Randazzo and Angelo Randazzo, husband and wife, filed a Complaint on January 21, 2010. Plaintiffs basically allege that Defendant Aldric Grandy, while a truck driver for Defendant D'Elia Express, Inc. ("D'Elia"), acting within the scope of his employment for D'Elia, recklessly and negligently collided D'Elia's tractor trailer into Plaintiff Elaine Randazzo's vehicle on January 29, 2008, on East Grove Street, Pringle, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and caused Elaine serious injuries. Specifically, Plaintiffs summarize their allegations as follows:

On January 29, 2008, the Plaintiff, ELAINE RANDAZZO, was lawfully stopped behind the Defendant, Aldric Grandy on East Grove Street. Mr. Grandy was operating a tractor and trailer on behalf of the Defendant, D'ELIA EXPRESS, and was stopped at a Stop sign at the corner of East Grove Street and Pringle Street. For reasons unknown to the Plaintiff, Mr. Grandy put his vehicle in reverse and collided with the Plaintiffs' vehicle numerous times, ultimately driving it approximately thirty (30) feet in the opposite direction on East Grove Street. After the Plaintiff came to a final rest, the Defendant, ALDRIC GRANDY, then fled the scene.

(Doc. 10, p. 2).

Plaintiffs' Complaint asserts four causes of actions against Defendants. In Count I, Plaintiffs assert a claim of negligence against both Defendants. In Count II, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant D'Elia was negligent with respect to its hiring and training of Defendant Grandy. In Count III, Plaintiffs assert a claim of punitive damages against Defendants. In their final claim, Count IV, Plaintiff Angelo Randazzo asserts a claim of loss of consortium against Defendants.

(Doc. 1).

In response to the Complaint, on March 9, 2010, Defendants jointly filed a Motion to Dismiss, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), its allegations of recklessness and its request for punitive damages. (Doc. 4). Defendants' Motion has been briefed and is ripe for disposition. (Docs. 5 and 10).*fn1 Defendants attached an Exhibit to their Motion, namely a copy of Plaintiffs' Complaint, and Plaintiffs attached an exhibit to their Brief, namely copy of the Pennsylvania State Police ("PSP") accident report. Jurisdiction of this Court is based on diversity pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as Plaintiffs reside in Pennsylvania, Defendant D'Elia is a New York corporation, and Defendant Grandy is a New York resident. (Doc. 1, pp. 1-2).

II. Complaint

We shall only address the portions of the Complaint relevant to the instant Motion, namely, ¶19. of Count I and ¶ 21. of Count II, as well as Count III. In ¶ 19., Plaintiffs allege that the "careless, reckless and negligent conduct" of Defendant Grandy, individually and as an employee of Defendant D'Elia, caused the injuries to Plaintiff Elaine Randazzo. In ¶ 21., Plaintiffs allege that the "carelessness, recklessness and negligence" of D'Elia in hiring and training Defendant Grandy caused the accident and the injuries of Plaintiff Elaine Randazzo.

As stated, in Count III, Plaintiffs assert a punitive damages claim against Defendants.

(Doc. 1, p. 8). Specifically, it is alleged:

23. That the conduct of the Defendant, ALDRIC GRANDY, individually and as a servant, agent, and/or employee of D'ELIA EXPRESS INC., and D'ELIA EXPRESS, INC. as set forth in Counts I and II, demonstrate a reckless indifference and conscious disregard for the safety of the Plaintiff, ELAINE RANDAZZO.

(Doc. 1, p. 8, ¶ 23.).

As mentioned, Defendants filed a partial Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) with respect to only ¶ 19. of Count I, ¶ 21. of Count II, and with ...


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