Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, May T., 1968, No. 1699, in case of Edward S. Jadosh v. Louis F. Goeringer and Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Company.
Jerry B. Chariton, with him Sol Lubin, and Winkler, Danoff, Lubin & Toole, for appellant.
John A. Gallagher, for Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Company, appellee.
Joseph J. Musto, with him J. T. Griffith, and Bedford, Waller, Griffith, Darling & Mitchell, for Goeringer, appellee.
Bell, C. J., Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Jones and Mr. Justice Roberts took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the decision of this case.
On October 10, 1967, appellant was an employee of Bertels Metal Ware Co., Inc., appellee Louis Goeringer was the vice president and general manager of Bertels, with responsibility for the supevision of operations, and appellee Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Company (PMA), was the workmen's compensation carrier for Bertels. Pursuant to the terms of the policies, PMA periodically inspected Bertels' premises in order to advise Goeringer of the existence of unsafe or dangerous work places and equipment. Such inspections occurred on September 1, 1966, March 21, 1967, and September 26, 1967. On October 10, 1967, appellant's fingers were crushed underneath the hydraulic ram of a lug cover press which he was operating for Bertels.
On March 13, 1969, the appellant filed a complaint in trespass against Goeringer and PMA alleging, inter alia, that Goeringer had been negligent in condoning the use of a defective press and that PMA had been negligent in making inspections, and that the negligence of each singly or in combination was responsible for his injuries.
Both defendants -- Goeringer by virtue of a motion for judgment on the pleadings or summary judgment and PMA by its preliminary objections -- pleaded that they were immune under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The court below sustained Goeringer's motion for judgment on the pleadings and PMA's demurrer, and this appeal followed.
Discussion as to Goeringer
By the Act of August 24, 1963, P. L. 1175, § 1, adding § 205 to the Workmen's Compensation Act, 77 P.S. § 72, the Legislature abrogated the common-law liability of one employee to another for negligence: "If disability or death is compensable under this act, a person shall not be liable to anyone at common law or otherwise on account of such disability or death for any act or omission occurring while such person was in the same employ as the person disabled or killed, except for intentional wrong."
Appellant first contends that Goeringer, as vice president and general manager of Bertels, is not protected by the immunity extended to co-employees by Section 205 by virtue of his superior status. However, the Act of February 28, 1956, P. L. (1955) 1120, § 1, 77 P.S. § 22, includes, inter alia, the following statement: "Every executive officer of a corporation elected or appointed . ...