United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. MARIANI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
March 8, 2017, Plaintiff Michael R. Lane filed a Complaint in
the above-captioned action against Troy S. McLean and TransAm
Trucking, Inc., wherein he alleged Negligence (Counts I, II)
and Negligent Entrustment (Count III) against the Defendants
as the result of a tractor-trailer motor vehicle collision
that occurred on January 24, 2017. (Doc. 1). Defendants
thereafter filed a Motion to Strike Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(f) (Doc. 7) and a supporting brief (Doc. 8), requesting
that the Court "dismiss part of, or in the entirety,
" 12 paragraphs in Plaintiffs 51 paragraph Complaint.
Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition to Defendants'
motion (Doc. 10), to which Defendants replied (Doc. 13).
Motion to Strike Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f) (Doc. 7)
having been fully briefed, it is now ripe for resolution. For
the reasons that follow, the Court will deny Defendants'
motion in its entirety.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 12 provides that a "court may
strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous
matter." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f).
District courts are afforded considerable discretion when
addressing a motion to strike. Generally, motions to strike
are not favored and usually will be denied unless the
allegations have no possible relation to the controversy and
may cause prejudice to one of the parties, or if the
allegations confuse the issues.
Yellow Book Sales & Distrib. Co., Inc. v. White,
2011 WL 830520, at *4 (E.D. Pa. 2011) (internal citations and
quotation marks omitted). See also, N. Penn Transfer,
Inc. v. Victaulic Co. of Am., 859 F.Supp. 154, 158 (E.D.
Pa. 1994). "Indeed, striking a pleading 'is a
drastic remedy to be resorted to only when required for the
purposes of justice' and should be used
'sparingly.'" DeLa Cruz v. Piccari
Press, 521 F.Supp.2d 424, 428 (E.D. Pa. 2007) (quoting
N. Penn Transfer, Inc., 859 F.Supp. at 158); see
also Pozarlik v. Camelback Assocs., Inc., 2011
WL 6003841, at *3 (M.D. Pa. 2011) ("[T]he standard for
striking portions of a plaintiffs complaint 'is strict
and only allegations that are so unrelated to the
plaintiffs' claims as to be unworthy of any consideration
should be stricken'") (quoting Johnson v.
Anhorn, 334 F.Supp.2d 802, 809 (E.D. Pa. 2004))
(internal alterations omitted).
request that the Court "dismiss part of, or in the
entirety, paragraphs 1, 8, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 32,
34, and 46 of Plaintiff's Complaint." (Doc. 7, at
1). In support of this request, Defendants, in their
Memorandum of Law in Support of their Motion to Strike,
divide their argument into five sections with each section
addressing specific paragraphs which Defendants contend
should be stricken and set forth their reasons for so
arguing. Specifically, Defendants argue the following:
1. References to Defendant McLean having been charged with a
criminal violation of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code,
being "in blatant violation of Pennsylvania Motor
Vehicle Code at section 3742", and being apprehended by
the Pennsylvania State Police are all scandalous and
immaterial matters and thus those allegations within
paragraphs 1 and 46 of the Complaint should be stricken and
paragraph 34 should be stricken in its entirety. (Doc. 8, at
2. Plaintiffs inclusion of TransAm's website address and
certain language contained on the website in its "About
TransAm" section are irrelevant, immaterial, and have no
essential or important relationship to the claim for relief
and therefore paragraph 8 of the Complaint should be stricken
in its entirety. (Id. at 4).
3. References to Defendant McLean failing to render aid to
Plaintiff after the accident at issue are scandalous,
immaterial, prejudicial, and have no essential or important
relationship to the claims of relief and thus paragraphs 24,
30, and 31 of the Complaint should be stricken in their
4. References to Defendant McLean failing to report an
accident are scandalous, immaterial, prejudicial, and have no
essential or important relationship to the claims of relief
and thus paragraphs 25 and 32 of the Complaint ...