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DIANE LYNN STAUB v. SOUTHWEST BUTLER COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT (02/15/79)

decided: February 15, 1979.

DIANE LYNN STAUB, APPELLEE,
v.
SOUTHWEST BUTLER COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT AND JOSE SABAN, M.D., APPELLANT AND MARIO LUDMER, M.D. AND NORTH HILLS PASSAVANT HOSPITAL, APPELLEES



No. 500 April Term, 1978, No. 513 April Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order of December 12, 1977, of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, Pennsylvania, Civil Division-Law, at A. D. No. 76-1188.

COUNSEL

John W. Jordan, IV, Pittsburgh, for appellant Jose Saban, M.D., at No. 500 and appellee at No. 513.

William C. Robinson, Butler, for appellant Southwest Butler County School Dist., at No. 513 and appellee at No. 500.

Peter J. Mansmann, Pittsburgh, for appellee Diane Staub at No. 513.

David H. Patterson, Pittsburgh, for appellee North Hills Passavant Hospital, at No. 513.

James A. Wood, Pittsburgh, for appellee Mario Ludmer, M.D., at No. 513.

Cercone, President Judge, and Wieand and Hoffman, JJ. Cercone, President Judge, concurs in the result. Hoffman, J., files a concurring opinion.

Author: Wieand

[ 263 Pa. Super. Page 416]

Does the Pennsylvania Health Care Services Malpractice Act*fn1 require a court of common pleas to surrender original jurisdiction of an action in trespass when the tortfeasor-defendant causes one or more health care providers to be

[ 263 Pa. Super. Page 417]

    joined as additional defendants? The trial court answered this issue in the affirmative and directed a transfer of the case to the Administrator for Arbitration Panels for Health Care. We disagree and reverse.

The complaint alleged that Diane Lynn Staub had sustained brain damage when she fell from "still rings" during a physical education class at Seneca Valley High School. She commenced suit against Southwest Butler County School District, alleging negligence, inter alia, in failing to provide proper equipment, instruction and supervision during the class. The School District joined as additional defendants the North Hills Passavant Hospital, where Diane had been hospitalized following the fall, Dr. Jose Saban, a radiologist, and Dr. Mario Ludmer, the treating neurosurgeon. Defendant's complaint averred that the additional defendants had been negligent in the delivery of medical services to Diane after her fall. The additional defendants then filed preliminary objections asserting that original jurisdiction to hear malpractice claims against them had been vested in Arbitration Panels for Health Care by the Pennsylvania Health Care Services Malpractice Act.

The present appeals were filed by Southwest Butler County School District and Dr. Saban. The School District contends that the lower court erred in holding that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. Dr. Saban argues that the trial court lacked authority to transfer the action to an administrative agency and should have stricken the joinder of the health care providers. He suggests that ...


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