Saturday, March 9, 2019
Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Statute Essay
Rooted in the history of prevalent police in England was the franchise of the monarch unlessterfly from the growthes of the law (Christie and Meeks, 1990). However, this idea of some man or system of men above the law was said to be objectionable to the position concept of justice (Christie and Meeks, 1990). The King can do no awry(p) was often the explanation for the said claim but de noned more the wishing of adequate redress at law than absence of capacity to interrupt the law (Christie and Meeks, 1990).Thus, the agitation for the availability of tort remediation against the self-reliant, or the conjure up to each considerable degree led to the mature development of the law (Christie and Meeks 1990, page 1202). Be front of the increase in the scope of governmental activities and the expanding activities of the Federal organization which touch upon the life of every citizen in much(prenominal) an intimate manner, pressures to any abolish the give tongue tos im munity from suit or to turn over a waiver of the sovereign immunity in limited situations, increase (Christie and Meeks, 1990).The pascal autonomous liberty Statute has been one of those which hoped to address the increase dissatisf military exploit with the concept of sovereign immunity from suit (Christie and Meeks, 1990). This paper hopes to apologise the pascal Sovereign right Statute and the exclusions tolerated for chthonian the said command. The paper would to a fault present the particular Constitutional provision which provides support for the censure to the Sovereign liberty. Fin aloney, the paper hopes to present courting laws, the venue, process and limitations, in order to explain further the exception to the said immunity statute. dad Sovereign Immunity Statute Over three-fourths of the states in the United States of America consume either totally abolished the doctrine of sovereign immunity or substantially modified it (Christie and Meeks, 1990). One such example is public address system which provides for exceptions to the doctrine of sovereign immunity. 42 Pa. C. S. 8521-8528 provides for the Sovereign Immunity in general, the exceptions and the limitations on remedy. 42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b) provide for acts which whitethorn impose obligation which includeVehicle Liability or the act of any motor fomite in the possession or look of a province fellowship medical checkup- headmaster liability or acts of wellness c be employees of landed estate substance medical facilities or institutions or by a soil party who is a doctor, dentist, nurse or link up health care soulnel Care, custody or accommodate of private airscrew in the possession or carry of Commonwealth parties, including Commonwealth- possess individualised prop and stead of persons held by a Commonwealth force A dangerous condition of Commonwealth agency echt estate and sidewalks, including Commonwealth-owned real property, leaseholds in the possess ion of a Commonwealth agency and Commonwealth-owned real property leased by a Commonwealth agency to private persons, and highways beneath the jurisdiction of a Commonwealth agency Potholes and other dangerous conditions of highways on a lower floor the jurisdiction of a Commonwealth agency created by potholes or sinkholes or other similar conditions created by natural elementsThe care, custody or aver of animals in the possession or control of a Commonwealth party, including but non limited to police quest fors and horses and animals incarcerated in Commonwealth agency laboratories the change of liquor at atomic number 91 liquor stores by employees of the Pennsylvania hard liquor Control Board created by and operating on a lower floor(a)(a) the Liquor Code, if such sale is made to any minor, or to any person visibly intoxicated, or to any insane person, or to any person cognise as an common drunkard, or of known intemperate habit bailiwick Guard activities or acts of a member of the Pennsylvania military forces and finally, the administration, settle and use of a anatoxin or vaccine not construct in the Commonwealth at a lower place conditions specified by the statute (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)). on a lower floor the Pennsylvania Constitution, all courts shall be open and every man for an deformity done him in his lands, goods, person or reputation shall have remedy by referable course of law, without sale, denial or delay, and suits may be brought against the Commonwealth in such manner, in such courts and in such references as the Legislature may by law direct (Pa. Const. Art. I, 11).Hence, under this provision the general assembly waives sovereign immunity which is a obstruct to an natural action against commonwealth parties where damages would be recoverable under the common law or statute creating a excite of action if the wounding were caused by a person to whom the defense of sovereign immunity is not available (Westlaw, n. d. ). Exceptions to the Sovereign Immunity The first exception to sovereign immunity is the vehicle liability or the operation of any motor vehicle liability in the possession or control of a Commonwealth party (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)). Motor vehicle means any vehicle which is automotive and any attachment at that placeto, including vehicles operated by rail, through water or in the air (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)).In Harding v. urban center of Philadelphia, 777 A. 2d 1249 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001), the salute held that bicycles are not motor vehicles (Governors Center for Local Government Services, 2003). In find whether the vehicle is in operation, the Supreme hail held that the dispatchers directions do not constitute operation under the vehicle exception (Regester v. Longwood Ambulance Company, Inc. , 797 A. 2d 898 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002)).In another case, the Court held that citys negligent upkeep and repair of fire departments rescue van was operation of motor vehicle within meaning of motor vehicle exception to governmental immunity (Mickle v.City of Philadelphia 550 Pa. 539, 707 A. 2d 1124 (1998)). The Court further explains in the case of Vogel v. Langer, 569 A. 2d 1047 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1990), that operation necessarily entails momentary stops due to traffic and communication with other drivers, or such acts which are an integral part of the operation itself (Vogel v. Langer, 569 A. 2d 1047 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1990)). The second exception provides for the medical-professional liability or acts of health care employees of Commonwealth agency medical facilities or institutions or by a Commonwealth party who is a doctor, dentist, nurse or related health care personnel (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)).In Williams v. Syed, No. 431 C. D. 2001, the Court held that Dr. Syed has no privilege to claim sovereign immunity as a defense because as Chief Medical Director of State punitory Institute at Pittsburgh, he falls within the medical professional liability (Williams v. Syed, No. 431 C. D. 2 001). In the case of Stack v. Wapner, 368 A. 2d 292 (Pa. Super. 1976), patients successfully sued physicians for their negligent failure to monitor the patients after administering certain drugs (Stack v. Wapner, 368 A. 2d 292 (Pa. Super. 1976)). The ordinal provides for the personal property exception, which is under the possession or control of the Commonwealth.The Court held that personal property must directly cause plaintiffs in jury not just facilitate it (Dept. of environmental Resources v. Myers, 581 A. 2d 696 Pa. Cmwlth. (1990)). In this case, a helicopter pilot brought an action for injuries incurred when, under contract with the incision of Environmental Resources (DER), his helicopter ran into power outlines while spraying for gypsy moths (Dept. of Environmental Resources v. Myers, 581 A. 2d 696 Pa. Cmwlth. (1990)). The pilot alleged that DER negligently placed the balloons marking the boundaries of the subject area to be sprayed as well as negligently providing him with a typographical map that failed to show the power lines (Dept. of Environmental Resources v. Myers, 581 A. 2d 696 Pa.Cmwlth. (1990)).Because of the negligent positioning of the balloons and the incorrectly marked map, the pilot contended those items of the Commonwealths personal property directly caused his injuries (Dept. of Environmental Resources v. Myers, 581 A. 2d 696 Pa. Cmwlth. (1990)). Rejecting that argument, the Court held that the placement of the balloons did not cause the injury, but merely facilitated another kind of negligence which is professional incompetency (Dept. of Environmental Resources v. Myers, 581 A. 2d 696 Pa. Cmwlth. (1990)). The fourth provides for the real property exception which is under the care, custody or control of the agency.The Court in a case held that the scroll saw was realty, taking into account the nature of the saw, the status of it with obligingness to the realty, the manner of annexation, and the use for which the scroll saw was installed (Cureton ex. rel. Cannon v. Philadelphia School District, 798 A. 2d 279 Pa. Cmwlth. 2002). In Collins v. City of Philadelphia 227 Pa. 121, 75 A. 1028, Pa. 1910, the Court held that the hole, six inches square, dear(p) the middle of a narrow sidewalk and in the direct line of ordinary travel, was more or less dangerous to all persons passing, whether locomote or on skates (Collins v. City of Philadelphia 227 Pa. 121, 75 A. 1028, Pa. 1910).Thus, the girl whose foot went into the first step which resulted in permanent injuries, is within the exception provided by the statute (Collins v. City of Philadelphia 227 Pa. 121, 75 A. 1028, Pa. 910). The fifth exception provides that a dangerous condition of highways under the jurisdiction of a Commonwealth agency created by potholes or sinkholes or other similar conditions created by natural elements, shall be an exception to the sovereign immunity but the claimant must establish that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury and that the Commonwealth agency had actual written notice of the dangerous condition of the highway a sufficient time prior to the event to have taken measures to treasure against the dangerous condition (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)).In Litchfield, 22 D. & C. 4th 123 (C. P.Clinton 1994) in that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has the responsibility to make a highway under its jurisdiction serious before it can transfer that jurisdiction, and that whether the highway was safe at the time of transfer is a factual issue for the jury (Litchfield, 22 D. & C. 4th 123 (C. P. Clinton 1994)). The sixth exception provides for the care, custody or control of animals in the possession or control of animals in the possession or control of a Commonwealth party to which the Commonwealth may be held liable (condition (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)). In a case, the Court held that the City of Philadelphia was not in control of a stray dog that attacked the plaintiff under the exception because a stray dog was not within the possession and control of the City (Jenkins v. Kelly, 498 A. 2d 487 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1985).moreover, the Court also held in another case that the fact that a township had investigated prior attacks by a dog, owned by a private citizen, and had even temporarily quarantined the dog on one of the occasions, did not create possession or control of the dog, when, at its owners premises, the dog attacked her guests (Lerro ex rel. Lerro v. Upper Darby Tp. , 798 A. 2d 817 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002). The seventh exception provides that liquor store sales at Pennsylvania liquor stores by employees of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board if such sale is made to any minor, or to any person visibly intoxicated or to any insane person, or to any person known to any person known as a habitual drunkard or of a known intemperate habit then, Commonwealth cannot use as a defense, sovereign immunity (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)). Acts of members of the military forces are also included in the exception from the sovereign immunity statute (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)).In a case, the Court held that the proposition that the Supreme Court held that the domination clause of the United States Constitution prevents a state from immunizing state acts from liability imposed under federal holding that because the Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Act does not immunize the unnamed defendants from a cause of action created under federal law, the action cannot be foreclosed merely because the conduct of the defendants does not fall within any of the exceptions to immunity (Heinly v. Commonwealth, 153 Pa. Cmwlth. 599, 621 A. 2d 1212, 1215, 1216 (1993)). Finally, the last exception provides that the liability may be imposed on the Commonwealth for a toxoid or vaccine not manufactured in Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania must take responsibility for it (42 Pa. C. S. 8522 (b)).The statute provides for the following supererogatory guidelines, that the toxoid or vaccine is manufactured in, and available besides from, an agency of another state the agency of the other state provide not make the toxoid or vaccine available to private persons or corporations, but will only permit its sale to another state or state agency the agency of the other state will make the toxoid or vaccine available to the Commonwealth only if the Commonwealth agrees to indemnify, defend and save harmless that agency from any and all claims and losses which may arise against it from the administration, manufacture or use of the toxoid or vaccine a determination has been made by the leave Commonwealth agency, approved by the Governor and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, that the toxoid or vaccine is necessary to safeguard and protect the health of the citizens or animals of this Commonwealth the toxoid or vaccine is distributed by a Commonwealth agency to qualified persons for ultimate use.Hence, the Court held that to apply this exception, there m ust be a strict interpretation based on the legislatures intent (Jones v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation role 565 Pa. 211, 772 A. 2d 435 (2001)). Venue, Process and Limitations As provided in 42 Pa. C. S. 8523, actions for claims against a Commonwealth party may be brought in and only in a county in which the principal or local office of the Commonwealth party is located or in which the cause of action arose or where a transaction or occurrence took place out of which the cause of action arose (42 Pa. C. S. 8523).The statute adds that if venue is obtained in the Twelfth Judicial District (Dauphin County) unaccompanied because the principal office of the Commonwealth party is located within it, any judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County shall have the power to transfer the action to any appropriate county where venue would otherwise lie (42 Pa. C. S. 8523). The service of process in the case of an action against the Commonwealth shall be made at the princ ipal or local office of the Commonwealth agency that is organism sued and at the office of the Attorney General lie (42 Pa. C. S. 8523). Limitations on damages is also stated in 42 Pa. C. S. 8528 wherein damages arising from the same cause of action or transaction or occurrence or serial publication of causes of action or transactions or occurrences shall not exceed $250,000, in favor of any plaintiff or $1,000,000 in the aggregate (42 Pa. C. S. 8528).Furthermore the types of damages recoverable are those damages recoverable only for gone and future loss of earnings and earning capacity Pain and suffering Medical and dental consonant expenses including the reasonable value of reasonable and necessary medical and dental services, prosthetic devices and necessary ambulance, hospital, professional nursing, and physical therapy expenses accrued and anticipated in the diagnosis, care and recovery of the claimant Loss of consortium Property losses, except that property losses shall no t be recoverable in claims brought pursuant to plane section 8522(b)(5) which relates to potholes and other dangerous conditions (42 Pa. C. S. 8528). In all these, suits against an agency of Pennsylvania may prosper once the plaintiff provides that his claim is under one of the exceptions provided for under the statute. The sovereign immunity therefore under the Pennsylvania Sovereign Immunity Statute is not at all absolute and persons may tear suits if their claims fall under one of the exceptions provided.