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KARL TURNER v. SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (07/12/78)

decided: July 12, 1978.

KARL TURNER, APPELLANT,
v.
SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY



No. 1806 October Term, 1977, Appeal from the Order Dated May 26, 1977 of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Trial Division - Law at No. 1414 October Term, 1976.

COUNSEL

David S. Shrager, Philadelphia, with him Lawrence J. Roberts, Cornwells Heights, for appellant.

James Ciamaichelo, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Jacobs, President Judge, and Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, Spaeth and Hester, JJ.

Author: Jacobs

[ 256 Pa. Super. Page 44]

This appeal is taken from the order of Judge DOTY, dated May 26, 1977, granting appellee's motion for judgment on the pleadings and holding that the liability of an employer under the Workmen's Compensation Act, Act of June 2, 1915, P.L. 736, No. 338, as amended, 77 P.S. § 1, et seq., is exclusive and precludes a "no-fault" recovery by a professional driver injured in the course of his employment. Appellant

[ 256 Pa. Super. Page 45]

    contends, however, that the Pennsylvania No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act, Act of July 19, 1974, P.L. 489, No. 176, Art. I, § 101, 40 P.S. § 1009.101 et seq. (Supp.1977-78), has created an exception to the well-established rule that an injured employee's exclusive remedy is that provided by the Workmen's Compensation Act. We disagree with this contention and, therefore, affirm.

Appellant, Karl Turner, is employed by Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) as a bus driver. On August 21, 1975, appellant was injured in a collision between his bus and another vehicle. In both his complaint and in his reply to new matter raised by appellee (defendant below), appellant admitted that at the time of the accident he was acting within the scope of his employment. Appellant applied for and was denied Workmen's Compensation benefits because he refused to submit to a medical examination. As a result, Turner filed a complaint seeking to recover from his employer under the No-fault Act. Appellee SEPTA filed an answer, raising as new matter the affirmative defense that the Workmen's Compensation Act was Appellant Turner's sole remedy. Judge DOTY properly granted SEPTA's motion for judgment on the pleadings.

It has long been stated by the courts of this Commonwealth that the Workmen's Compensation Act is an injured employee's sole remedy against his or her employer. See, e. g., Hamler v. Waldron, 445 Pa. 262 n.3, 284 A.2d 725 n.3 (1971); Steets v. Sovereign Construction Co., 413 Pa. 458, 198 A.2d 590 (1964); Swartz v. Conradis, 298 Pa. 343, 148 A. 529 (1929). In December of 1974, five months after the passage of the No-fault Act, the legislature amended Section 303*fn1 of the Workmen's Compensation Act to affirm this oft-repeated judicial interpretation of legislative intent.

The new Section 303 makes the following blanket statement:

[ 256 Pa. Super. Page 46]

(a) The liability of an employer under this act shall be exclusive and in place of any and all other liability to such employes, his legal representative, husband or wife, parents, dependents, next of kin or anyone otherwise entitled to damages in any action at law or otherwise on account of any injury or death as ...


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