November 30, 2023

In Pari Delicto by Any Other Name Would Still Be a Bar

Drug & Device Law
Eric L. Alexander

Litigation attorney Eric Alexander authored an article for Drug & Device Law exploring the principle of in pari delicto as applied in a recent case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Mr. Alexander explains that the phrase has to do with determining whether there is a bar to recovery based on the plaintiff's criminal conduct; preventing plaintiffs from recovering if they can make a claim solely because they engaged in a criminal act at the time of a defendant's tortious action would be wrong, as would allowing plaintiffs who were injured because they were committing a crime to recover. The case in Pennsylvania concerned a man who pleaded guilty to murder and then sued his psychiatrist in an attempt to shift liablity based on alleged malpractice in his care. The court rejected the man's claims, stating in part that "injuries that flow from volitional criminal conduct cannot provide a basis for a recovery in tort." In this article, Mr. Alexander breaks down the case background and the court's reasoning, as well as analyzes the ruling's implications.

READ: In Pari Delicto by Any Other Name Would Still Be a Bar

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