as to the general or Pennsylvania law on the point. He further directs our attention to Briggs v. City of Philadelphia, 1934, 112 Pa.Super. 50, 170 A. 871, as authority for the statement that an unemancipated minor may not maintain an action against his parent to recover for personal injuries caused by the latter's negligence. But there the court held the action was actually not brought by the minor against the parent, and briefly discussed, as dicta, the doctrine of parental immunity without applying that doctrine in the final determination of the case. Furthermore, this case was reversed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania without considering the doctrine in any way. 1934, 316 Pa. 48, 173 A. 316.
The Pennsylvania law does allow suits between child and parent when living in actions relating to real property, Sullivan v. Sullivan, 1920, 74 Pa.Super. 396; breach of contract, Dunn v. Dunn, 1935, 118 Pa.Super. 533, 179 A. 795; for accounting of wages, Drusbasky v. Drusbasky, 83 Pittsb.Leg.J. 489 (1935).
It is my opinion that the minor-plaintiff has set forth a valid legal claim against the administrator-defendant.
The widow-plaintiff asserts a separate cause of action against the estate of her deceased husband to recover damages occasioned by her son's injuries. Much of what has been expressed heretofore is equally applicable with regard to the widow's right to maintain her action.
The development of the law with respect to parental relations is aptly stated in Courtney v. Courtney, 1938, 184 Okl. 395, 87 P.2d 660, 669:
'One thing of which we are certain is that the old idea of family unity being obtainable only by the reasoned device of the common law in vesting the husband with all the rights and powers and reducing the wife to a nullity before the law is absolutely outmoded and obsolete. There can be no strict unvarying unity between persons possessing mutual rights as against each other; there can be no automatic stability between equals. There, of course, must be a certain unity of purpose in the undertakings of matrimonial union, but this by no means implies that husband and wife must be considered as one for all purposes. The whole trend of civilization has been away from the artificially solidified groups and toward the free individual. Little by little government has progressed from absolutism to democracy, industry has progressed from slavery to the point where the employer and the representatives of his employees contract as equal, and similarly, the family has progressed from the day when the patriarch had the power of life and death over the members of his family to the day when sons choose their own vocations and daughters their own husbands; and the authority and power of the husband and father depends to a great degree upon such affection, respect and esteem as he may have actually won on his own merits. See 30 Law Notes, 165. As the Supreme Court of North Carolina said in Crowell v. Crowell, 180 N.C. 516, 105 S.E. 206, 210; Id., 181 N.C. 66, 106 S.E. 149: 'Whether a man has laid open his wife's head with a bludgeon, put out her eye, broken her arm or poisoned her body, he is no longer exempt from liability to her on the ground that he vowed at the altar to 'love, cherish, and protect' her. We have progressed that far in civilization and justice."
In other jurisdictions, even where the doctrine of immunity of spouses is applied, it is an immunity personal to the spouse which is not available to the spouse's estate after death. Welch v. Davis, 1951, 410 Ill. 130, 101 N.E.2d 547, 28 A.L.R.2d 656; Robinson's Adm'r v. Robinson, supra; Deposit Guaranty Bank & Trust Co. v. Nelson, Supra.
Similarly, under Pennsylvania law, the immunity doctrine is a defense personal to the spouse and is not available after the spouse has died and the reason for the rule has disappeared. Kaczorowski v. Kalkosinski, supra; Dougherty v. Snyder, supra; In re Gracie's Estate, 1893, 158 Pa. 521, 27 A. 1083. In the latter case a husband presented a claim against his wife's estate for certain bank deposits made in her name during her lifetime. The court held that while the husband could not sue his wife during her lifetime because of the marital relationship, that disability did not continue after her death.
It is the opinion of this Court that the family immunity doctrine under Pennsylvania law, whatever may be its validity as between members of a living family relationship, whether husband and wife or parent and child, does not extend beyond the life of a family member protected thereby and is not available to his estate.
Accordingly, the complaint states a good cause of action.