No. 117 Pittsburgh, 1982, Appeal from the Order entered January 19, 1982, Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Civil Action, Law at No. GD 81-00477.
Bradford Dorrance, Harrisburg, for appellant.
William S. Schweers, Pittsburgh, for appellees.
Brosky, Johnson and Montgomery, JJ. Brosky, J., files a concurring opinion.
[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 190]
The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (the Department) appeals the Order of the trial court entered January 19, 1982, denying their Petition to Intervene.
The record indicates that plaintiff Dana A. Chiesa filed a medical malpractice complaint against the defendant doctors in February of 1980 under the Health Care Services Malpractice Act (HCSMA), 40 P.S. § 1301.101 et seq.*fn1 The action was subsequently transferred to the Court of Common Pleas in December of 1980. Plaintiff, who was receiving both Medicaid and cash assistance from the Department, did not notify the Department of the pendency of this action. By letter dated July 14, 1981, the Department requested information from plaintiff's counsel concerning any personal injury claim and informing counsel of his duty to notify the Department of such a claim.*fn2 A reply dated September 4, 1981 was sent by plaintiff's counsel to the Department, stating that the HCSMA, specifically section 602,*fn3 required no notice to the Department, nor was the Department entitled to any right of subrogation.
Following this exchange of correspondence, the claim was settled and, on October 16, 1981, the docket marked "settled and discontinued." The Department then presented a Petition
[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 191]
to Intervene*fn4 to the court. The trial court ordered the settlement monies, $50,000, placed in escrow. The parties then stipulated to the Department's claims of $5,807.95 for medical assistance and $3,996.50 in cash assistance. The Department's Petition was denied by court order entered January 19, 1982.
The Department on appeal seeks review of the trial court's determination that (1) no irreconcilable conflict exists between section 1409 of the Fraud Abuse and Control Act and section 602 of the HCSMA, (2) that section 602 of the HCSMA prevails over section 1409 of the Fraud Abuse and Control Act and (3) that said section 602 does not conflict with sections 1974 or 1975 of the Support Law.*fn5
We must first determine whether the Order appealed from is final or interlocutory.*fn6
An order denying intervention is not appealable unless it "would be a practical denial of relief to which the petitioner for intervention is entitled and can obtain in no other way." Frey's Estate, 237 Pa. 269, 271, 85 A. 147, 148 (1912). See Annot., 15 A.L.R.2d 33.
Richard Held Builders, Inc. v. A.G. Allebach, Inc., 266 Pa. Super. 101, 103, 403 A.2d 113, 114 (1979); see also Boise Cascade Corp. v. East Stroudsburg Savings Association, 300 Pa. Super. 279, 446 A.2d 614 (1982).
[ 318 Pa. Super. Page 192]
Unless we consider the merits -- or "ramifications" -- of a case, we cannot tell whether an order denying a petition to intervene is "a practical denial of relief to which the petitioner for intervention is entitled." See, e.g., Taub v. Page 192} Merriam, 251 Pa. Superior Ct. 572, 380 A.2d 1245 (1977) (deciding appeal); Richard Held Builders, Inc. ...