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ESTHER POKLEMBA v. SHAMOKIN STATE GENERAL HOSPITAL (07/14/78)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: July 14, 1978.

ESTHER POKLEMBA, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS THE ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF STEPHEN F. POKLEMBA, ESQUIRE, APPELLANT
v.
SHAMOKIN STATE GENERAL HOSPITAL, APPELLEE, AND ROBERT GRECO, ANNE L. CAWTHERN, MRS. NEAL LITTLE, HELEN WAHOSKY, AND QUILLA MOWERY

No. 118 January Term, 1976, Appeal from the Order dated October 2, 1975, of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, No. 118 T.D. 1975.

COUNSEL

William S. Hudders, Richard F. Stevens of Butz, Hudders & Tallman, Allentown, for appellant.

Allen C. Warshaw, Deputy Atty. Gen., for appellee, Shamokin State General Hospital.

Christian S. Erb, Jr., Harrisburg, for appellees, Robert Greco, Anne L. Cawthern, Mrs. Neal Little, Helen Wahosky and Quilla Mowery.

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 415]

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant Esther Poklemba, both individually and as administratrix of decedent's estate, brought an action in trespass against appellee Shamokin State General Hospital and others for negligent medical treatment of decedent, her husband. The Commonwealth Court dismissed the complaint against appellee on the ground that appellee, as an agency of the Commonwealth, was protected against suit by the sovereign immunity of the Commonwealth.

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.

Order reversed and case remanded.*fn*

O'BRIEN, Justice, dissenting.

[ 479 Pa. Page 416]

I dissent. This Court has no power to abrogate Article I, ยง 11 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. See Mayle v. Pennsylvania Page 416} 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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