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Robuck v. Mine Safety Appliances Co.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


October 1, 2010

DENNIS A. ROBUCK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MINE SAFETY APPLIANCES COMPANY, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nora Barry Fischer United States District Judge

Judge Nora Barry Fischer

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Presently before this Court is Plaintiff Dennis A. Robuck's (hereinafter "Plaintiff") Motion to Dismiss and/or Strike Mine Safety Appliances Company's (hereinafter "Defendant") Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. (Docket No. [24]). Plaintiff asserts that Defendant's Answer and Affirmative Defenses (Docket No. 19) do not meet the pleading standards as set forth in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554 (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009). (Docket No. 24). Defendant states that its Answer and Affirmative Defenses are in accord with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(b) because Defendant either admits or denies all allegations. (Docket No. 32 at 2). Furthermore, Defendant argues that the Twombly pleading standards do not apply to affirmative defenses and, even if they do, Defendant's Affirmative Defenses provid Plaintiff with sufficient notice of the defenses. (Docket No. 32 at 3).

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(b) requires a party to "admit or deny the allegations asserted against it." FED.R.CIV.P. 8(b). Defendant's Answer is sufficient under Rule 8(b) because in each paragraph, Defendant did either admit or deny the allegation. Romantine v. CH2M Hill Engineers, Inc., Civil Action No. 09-973, 2009 WL 3417469 at *1 (W.D. Pa., Oct. 23, 2009).

Moreover, Defendant's Affirmative Defenses sufficiently put Plaintiff on 'fair notice' of the nature of the defenses and the grounds upon which they rest. Lapic v. MTD Products, Inc., Civil Action No. 09-760, 2009 WL 3030305, at *3 (W.D. Pa., Sept. 17, 2009). Finally, the Court acknowledges that the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has not rendered any decision resolving the issue of whether the Twombly/Iqbal pleading standard for complaints also applies to affirmative defenses. Romantine, at *2.

Therefore, based on the present state of the law, and having found that Defendant's Answer complies with Rule 8(b) and that Defendant's Affirmative Defenses provid Plaintiff with sufficient notice, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss and/or Strike Defendant's Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [24] is DENIED.

20101001

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