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PAMELA PORR v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT STATE POLICE (07/14/78)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: July 14, 1978.

PAMELA PORR, AN INCOMPETENT, BY FRED W. PORR AND GLADYS PORR, HER PARENTS AND NATURAL GUARDIANS, TAMRA PORR, BY FRED W. PORR AND GLADYS PORR, HER PARENTS AND NATURAL GUARDIANS, AND FRED W. PORR AND GLADYS PORR, APPELLANTS,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE, JAMES A. BARGER, COMMISSIONER, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF GENERAL SERVICES, RONALD LENCH, SECRETARY

No. 111 May Term, 1977, Appeal from Order of Commonwealth Court dated September 29, 1977, entered to No. 10 T.D. 1977.

COUNSEL

P. Nelson Alexander, York, for appellants.

David Max Baer, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellees Com., Dept. of State Police and Dept. of General Services.

Clyde W. McIntyre, Harrisburg, for appellees James A. Barger and Ronald G. Lench.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ. O'Brien, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Eagen, C. J., and Pomeroy, J., joined. Pomeroy, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, J., joined.

Author: Roberts

[ 479 Pa. Page 420]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellants Pamela Porr and Tamra Porr, by their parents, brought an action in trespass against the Department of State Police and the Department of General Services, two agencies of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and appellees here, and one official of each agency. The complaint asked for damages to compensate plaintiffs for injuries allegedly incurred when a state police vehicle struck the car in which appellants were riding. The Commonwealth Court dismissed the complaint against appellees on the grounds that, as agencies of the Commonwealth, appellees were protected by the sovereign immunity of the Commonwealth.*fn1

We have this day abrogated the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Mayle v. Pennsylvania Department of Highways, 479 Pa. 384, 388 A.2d 709 (1978). We therefore reverse the order of the Commonwealth Court and remand for further proceedings.*fn2

Order reversed and case remanded.

[ 479 Pa. Page 421]

O'BRIEN, Justice, dissenting.

I dissent. This Court has no power to abrogate Article I, ยง 11 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. See Mayle v. Pennsylvania Department of Highways, 479 Pa. 384, 388 A.2d 709 (1978) (Dissenting Opinion by O'Brien, J.).

POMEROY, Justice, dissenting.

For the reasons set forth in my dissenting opinion in Mayle v. Pennsylvania Department of Highways, 479 Pa. 384, 408, 388 A.2d 709, 721 (1978), I dissent.


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