HARRISBURG – The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has dismissed an appeal filed by a plaintiff seeking to overturn the summary judgment dismissal of his personal property damage case from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.

Through a ruling issued July 3, Superior Court judges John T. Bender, Alice Beck Dubow and John L. Musmanno upheld the dismissal of Kelly D. Dutton’s litigation versus Tenille Timbers. Dubow wrote for the Court in the instant matter.

Dutton’s case against Timbers is connected to a residential fire which occurred in Timbers’ residence in the West Powelton section of Philadelphia in December 2013, allegedly as a result of careless smoking. Dutton’s residence, located next door to that of Chambers, sustained damage due to the blaze.

Though Dutton’s insurance company covered the cost of repairing his apartment damage from the fire, the policy did not cover Dutton’s lost rent, income, deductible and depreciation, all of which totaled approximately $22,185.00.

Timbers filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss Dutton’s suit with prejudice on April 15, 2016, which the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas granted on July 20 of last year. Dutton opted to appeal the ruling to the Superior Court.

Dubow said in order to properly present an issue for Superior Court review, Dutton bore the burden of ensuring his argument section includes citations to pertinent authorities as well as discussion and analysis of the authorities, and if this was not done, the Court reserved the right to waive certain issues or dismiss the appeal entirely.

In the Court’s decision, Dubow termed Dutton’s brief as “woefully inadequate.”

“The Statement of Questions involved is unacceptably vague and inadequate. Most significantly, although plaintiff’s brief contains a three-paragraph section entitled ‘Argument,’ plaintiff did not develop any argument therein with citation to the record or to case law in support of his claim. It is axiomatic that issues that are not developed in the argument section of an appellate brief are waived,” Dubow said.

“Plaintiff’s failure to adhere to the Rules of Appellate Procedure and to develop his claims with citation to the record and to legal authorities prevents this Court from conducting meaningful appellate review. Therefore, we conclude plaintiff has waived his issues. Accordingly, we dismiss this appeal,” Dubow stated.

The defendant is represented by David A. Silverstein in Bala Cynwyd.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania case 2420 EDA 2016

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150702505

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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