PA Supreme Court Refuses to Reinstate Defamation Case

On September 27, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied the Petition for Allowance of Appeal in which Plaintiffs, Jarmen and Raki Nelson, sought  review of the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s February 5, 2016 Memorandum Opinion affirming the entry of summary judgment in favor of L.A. Fitness International, LLC (now known as Fitness International, LLC) in plaintiffs’ defamation case against it.   In that Opinion, the Superior Court held that plaintiffs were aware for more than a year before filing their lawsuit that defamatory communications about them may have been made by L.A. Fitness’ employees, and that a reasonable person, given that the content of the alleged defamatory communications clearly involved accusations of criminal conduct by plaintiffs, would have promptly investigated whether such defamatory communications were, in fact, made.  The Superior Court held that the plaintiffs could have and should have filed their lawsuit prior to the expiration of the one-year statute of limitations applicable to defamation claims since the plaintiffs’ failure to investigate in a reasonably prompt and diligent manner did not toll the statute of limitations. 

Nelson v. L.A. Fitness International, LLC,  No. 367 EDA 2015 (Pa. Super., Feb. 5, 2016).