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Rule 238 Amendment - Delay Damages

Rule 238 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure concerning delay damages was amended recently to incorporate the Superior Court’s requirements in Sonlin v. Abington Memorial Hospital, 748 A.2d 213 (Pa. Super. 2000).

The new rule incorporates three requirements established by the Sonlin case to bring an offer of settlement within the exclusion of the rule concerning the calculation of delay damages. Specifically, for the exclusion to apply, the offer of settlement must be in writing and must contain an express clause validating the offer for 90 days or until the commencement of trial, whichever occurs first. If the offer is a structured settlement, the terms of payment underwritten by a financially responsible entity, the underwriter and the cost must be disclosed.


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