Termination for Purposes of Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings (Dragonetti)

/ 18.Feb, 2013
We have previously written about the “termination” prong for a wrongful use of civil proceedings (“Dragonetti”) action.  Our Superior Court recently issued an opinion further clarifying this issue.   In Majorsky v. Douglas, et al, 2012 Pa. Super 258 (Pa. Super. 2012), the court held that a consent verdict was not a termination for purposes of a Dragonetti claim.  The language of this decision is particularly interesting because it appears to rein in the relatively broad language of Banner v. Miller, 701 A.2d 242 (Pa. Super. 1997), where the court found termination because the plaintiffs “did not answer the bell in the fight they started. . .”  The Majorsky court wrote the plaintiffs had not established the underlying action “constituted anything tantamount to the unbidden abandonment of a claim brought in bad faith, as was the case in Banner.”  The court further noted the Banner decision resulted from “the peculiar, troubling evolution of that case. . .”  The court found the consent verdict was equivalent to a settlement, and thus could not constitute a termination for purposes of a wrongful use of civil proceedings claim. -Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire