Pa Supreme Court Takes Appeal in Lawsuit concerning Concealed Murder Weapon at

Pa Supreme Court Takes Appeal in Lawsuit concerning Concealed Murder Weapon at

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Decide Whether Parents and Marriage Counselor are Liable for Damages in a Murder Case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently announced that it would review a lawsuit brought by T. Lee Rouse, a Verona woman whose son was killed by Adam Rosenberg in 2019. Rouse believes that she is entitled to recover damages from the killer’s parents and their marriage counselor, Martha Laux, who allegedly concealed the murder weapon. Although two lower courts ruled against Rouse, she believes that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s review is a chance to overturn the decision.

The Overview of the Case

The key issue in the case is whether Rosenberg’s parents and Laux are liable for damages under the “Interference with Dead Bodies” tort in Pennsylvania law. The defendants never touched Christian Moore-Rouse’s body, but Rouse argues that their actions delayed the police investigation and prevented her from burying her son properly, causing her severe emotional distress.

The case began on Dec. 21, 2019, when Rosenberg killed his friend, Moore-Rouse, by shooting him in the back of the head at his Fox Chapel home. Rosenberg subsequently dragged the body down the driveway and hid it near the road where it was discovered on March 3, 2020. During the investigation, the police discovered that Rosenberg’s parents had found the murder weapon and passed it to Laux, who turned it over to the Allegheny County Police a month later.

Rouse alleges that the defendants concealed the murder weapon and knowing that Rosenberg was responsible for her son’s disappearance, they used Laux to turn the weapon into the police under false pretenses, thereby delaying the investigation. In her view, interference with her son’s remains is “fundamentally repulsive” and is subject to damages in Pennsylvania.

The Lower Court’s Decision

In May 2021, both the trial court and the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled against Lee Rouse. The Superior Court said, “there is no allegation that defendants ever even learned the location of Christian’s body” and that “while these facts might not paint defendants in a positive light, those facts also do not show that they did anything to conceal the location of a murder victim’s body or thwart the police from discovering it, let alone even know where it was located.”

The court found that the Rosenbergs and Laux never touched Moore-Rouse’s body, which is a requirement to recover damages. In addition, there was no compelling issue that warranted the court’s review. Attorneys for the Rosenbergs and Laux also urged the court not to take the case.

Implications of the Lawsuit

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision on this case is expected to have far-reaching implications for the state’s “Interference with Dead Bodies” tort. The court will decide if it is enough to hold defendants responsible for interference with a dead body even if they never touched it. According to Rouse’s attorney, Mark Homyak, this case is unprecedented, and there is no case law that provides guidance.

If the court finds the defendants liable for damages regardless of whether they touched Moore-Rouse’s body, it could set a new precedent in Pennsylvania law and have implications for future lawsuits in similar cases.


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision on this case will be watched closely by legal professionals and the general public alike. It will determine whether defendants in similar cases are liable for damages even if they never touched the dead body. While Rouse’s filing of the lawsuit may not have been favorable to the defendants, it has prompted a review of the state’s “Interference with Dead Bodies” tort, which could have a significant impact on Pennsylvania law.

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