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ROBERT D. WILSON AND CAROLYN W. WILSON v. CENTRAL PENN INDUSTRIES (10/29/82)

filed: October 29, 1982.

ROBERT D. WILSON AND CAROLYN W. WILSON, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS
v.
CENTRAL PENN INDUSTRIES, INC., A PENNSYLVANIA CORPORATION



No. 222 Harrisburg, 1980, Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Dauphin County, No. 3863 S 1979.

COUNSEL

David A. Johnston, Harrisburg, for appellants.

Walter W. Wilt, Harrisburg, for appellee.

Brosky, Wieand and Montemuro, JJ.

Author: Wieand

[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 148]

In this appeal we are required to construe Section 25(a) of the Act of July 9, 1976, P.L. 586, No. 142, effective June 27, 1978,*fn1 and determine whether it was intended to reduce the two year limitation established by the Judicial Code, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524, for the commencement of an action for trespass to real estate. The trial court held that the statute of limitations had been so reduced and granted a motion for summary judgment which dismissed an action for blasting damages which had occurred less than 23 months prior to commencement of the action. We reverse.

When we review the entry of summary judgment, we view the pleadings, depositions and affidavits of record in the light most favorable to appellants, the non-moving parties. Thompson Coal Co. v. Pike Coal Co., 488 Pa. 198, 204, 412 A.2d 466, 469 (1979); Aimco Imports, Ltd. v. Industrial Valley Bank and Trust Co., 291 Pa. Super. 233, 236, 435 A.2d 884, 885 (1981); Taylor v. Tukanowicz, 290 Pa. Super. 581, 586, 435 A.2d 181, 183 (1981). Thus, in the instant case it appears that the residence of Robert and Carolyn Wilson in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, as well as their water and septic systems, were damaged by blasting operations carried on between September 28, 1977 and November

[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 1499]

, 1977. The blasting had been done by Central Penn Industries, Inc. during the course of road construction performed under a contract with PennDOT. An action in trespass to recover damages was commenced by praecipe for writ of summons filed on August 28, 1979, less than two years after the blasting damages had occurred. After the pleadings had been closed and discovery completed, Central Penn Industries filed a motion for summary judgment. This motion relied upon Section 25(a) of the Act of July 9, 1976. Appellee contended that the Wilsons' action was barred because it had been commenced more than one year following the statute's effective date of June 27, 1978. The trial court accepted this argument and entered judgment in favor of Central Penn Industries. The Wilsons appealed.

Prior to enactment of the Judicial Code in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations pertaining to actions for trespass to real estate had been six years. The period was reduced to two years by Section 5524 of the Judiciary Act of July 9, 1976, P.L. 586, No. 142, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524, effective June 27, 1978.*fn2 However, Section 25(a) of the Act, which appears in the note following 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 5524, provides:

(a) Any civil action or proceeding:

(1) the time heretofore limited by statute for the commencement of which is reduced by any ...


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