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CARMEN R. MEDINA ET AL. v. TOWNSHIP FALLS ET AL. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA. (01/20/83)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: January 20, 1983.

CARMEN R. MEDINA ET AL.
v.
TOWNSHIP OF FALLS ET AL. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. APPELLANT

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Carmen R. Medina and Catherine LeBron, a minor, and Melvin LeBron, a minor, by their parent and natural guardian, Carmen R. Medina v. Township of Falls, Supervisors of Township of Falls, Individually and in their capacity as Supervisors, John R. Banko, Richard Goulding, Richard Smith, Morris C. Ianni and Charles Chimera, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, No. 81-02055-12-2.

COUNSEL

Diane S. Hudachek, Deputy Attorney General, for Commonwealth.

Robert A. Godwin, for Carmen R. Medina, et al.

Harold B. Marcus, for appellee, Township of Falls, Supervisors of Township of Falls.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Blatt, Craig and Doyle. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 296]

Mrs. Carmen Medina has sued the Commonwealth, Falls Township, and its supervisors because of injuries which she and her children allegedly sustained when her automobile struck a pothole on U.S. Route 1, a state highway. On the ground that responsibility for repair and maintenance of state roads rests exclusively with the Commonwealth, the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas dismissed Mrs. Medina's suit against the township and its supervisors on motion for summary judgment. Mrs. Medina and the Commonwealth appeal that order; we affirm.

Mrs. Medina and the Commonwealth contend that the trial court improperly granted the township's motion for summary judgment because the township had

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 297]

    notice of the pothole*fn1 and failed to act upon that knowledge, thereby violating (1) its alleged police power responsibilities under section 6109 of the Motor Vehicle Code*fn2 and (2) its duty to take all needful means to secure the safety of persons or property within the township under section 702 of the Second Class Township Code.*fn3 They argue that, among other things, Falls Township should have notified the Commonwealth of the danger and should have had police direct traffic around it.

We have recently held, however, that, because the Commonwealth has exclusive responsibility for the repair and maintenance of state roads, Stevens v. Reading Street Railway Co., 384 Pa. 390, 121 A.2d 128 (1956), a township and its supervisors cannot be held liable for a failure to notify the Commonwealth of a dangerous condition on a state highway, Calvanese v. Leist, 70 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 251, 452 A.2d 1125 (1982) (mud and debris on road obscured signs) or for a failure to correct an allegedly hazardous condition (hole around storm drains) on a state road, Sholler v. Department of Transportation, 70 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 243, 453 A.2d 24 (1982). Accord, Rinaldi v. Giblin, 70 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 253, 452

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 298]

A.2d 1126 (1982) (summary judgment granted to Falls Township because township cannot be held liable for failure to warn Commonwealth of hazardous condition on U.S. Route 1 or to re-erect sign or warn drivers of hazard).

Accordingly, we affirm.*fn4

Order

Now, January 20, 1983, the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, No. 81-02055-12-2, dismissing the complaint against the Township of Falls and its supervisors, is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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