DELMARVA POWER & LIGHT CO. Plaintiff,
DRU B. SMITH and BLEVINS INC., Defendants, VERIZON DELAWARE LLC, Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff,
COMCAST CABLE COMMUNICATIONS, LLC Third-Party Defendant
Submitted: April 5, 2017
C. McLaughlin, Esquire Phillips, Goldman, McLaughlin &
Hall, PA. Attorney for Plaintiff.
Michael J. Logullo, Esquire Rawle & Henderson LLP
Attorney for Defendants Dru B. Smith and Blevins Inc.
E. Sherlock, Esquire Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires
& Newby, LLP Attorney for Third-Party Defendant Plaintiff
Verizon Delaware LLC
E. Shevlin, Esquire Franklin & Prokopik Attorney for
Defendant/Third-Party Comcast Cable Communications, LLC
AND ORDER ON THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT'S
MOTION TO DISMISS
HONORABLE CARL C. DANBERG JUDGE.
an action for negligence. The third-party defendant, Comcast
Cable Communications, LLC (hereinafter "Comcast"),
brings this motion under Court of Common Pleas Civil Rule
12(b)(6), alleging the third-party complaint fails to comply
with Rule 14(a).
March 31, 2017, a hearing was convened on the Motion, at
which time the parties presented oral argument and were given
the opportunity to submit supplemental
briefing. After reviewing the parties' briefs
and arguments, the Court reserved decision. This is the Final
Decision of the Court on Comcast's Motion to Dismiss.
the early procedural stage and the nature of the instant
Motion, there is no factual record beyond the pleadings. In
accordance with the standard for reviewing a motion under
Rule 12(b)(6), the Court will assume all of the relevant
facts in the pleadings are true. The Court will only dismiss
the third-party complaint if the third-party plaintiff
"would not be entitled to recover under any reasonably
conceivable set of circumstances susceptible to
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
genesis of the underlying cause of action is an accident in
which a truck, owned by defendant Blevins, Inc. and operated
by defendant Dru B. Smith, struck wires attached to a utility
pole owned by the plaintiff, Delmarva Power and Light Company
(hereinafter "Delmarva"). Delmarva alleged in its
complaint the wires belonged to the defendant, Verizon
Delaware LLC (hereinafter "Verizon"), and were not
kept above eighteen feet.
answer, Verizon denied liability, and stated "Verizon
had no overhead wires at the incident
location." Verizon filed a crossclaim for
contribution and indemnification against the other defendants
and filed a third-party complaint against Comcast. Verizon
reiterated its assertion the truck did not strike
Verizon's wires and instead alleged the wires belonged to
Comcast. Comcast then filed the instant Motion to Dismiss in
lieu of an Answer.
argues Rule 14(a) only permits a defendant to file a
third-party complaint against a joint tortfeasor. Comcast
must owe Verizon some duty, thereby entitling Verizon to be
indemnified by Comcast for its own liability to Delmarva.
According to Comcast, because Verizon has disclaimed all
liability to Delmarva, there is no circumstance ...