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MICHAEL MINDALA ET AL. v. AMERICAN MOTORS CORPORATION ET AL. WEST COCALICO TOWNSHIP (07/12/85)

decided: July 12, 1985.

MICHAEL MINDALA ET AL.
v.
AMERICAN MOTORS CORPORATION ET AL. WEST COCALICO TOWNSHIP, PETITIONER



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County in case of Michael Mindala, Administrator of the Estate of Thomas M. Mindala, Deceased; Eileen S. Stiffler, Administratrix of the Estate of Vickie Lee Mindala, Deceased; and Tracy Lee Osborne, formerly known as Tracy Lee Mindala, a minor, by Mellon Bank, N.A., Guardian of her Estate v. American Motors Corporation, a Maryland Corporation; Jeep Corporation, a Nevada Corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of American Motors Corporation; Jeep International Corporation; A.M. General Corporation; The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation; The Borough of Ephrata, Ephrata Communications Center; West Cocalico Township; Harry H. Good, an individual and Michael Mindala, Administrator of the Estate of Thomas M. Mindala, Deceased, No. 235 November Term, 1981.

COUNSEL

J. Michael Flanagan, with him, Joel D. Smith, Barley, Snyder, Cooper & Barber, for petitioner.

Joseph A. McIntyre, Law Office of William A. Atlee, Jr., for appellee, Michael Mindala, Administrator of the Estate of Thomas M. Mindala, deceased.

Thomas Hollander, Evans, Ivory & Evans, P.C., for appellees, Eileen S. Stiffler, etc.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Williams, Jr., and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Rogers, MacPhail, Doyle, Barry, Colins and Palladino. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Dissenting Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Macphail

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 367]

West Cocalico Township (Township) appeals here from the dismissal of its motion for summary judgment by the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster

[ 90 Pa. Commw. Page 368]

County. The common pleas court certified that the matter is one which "involves a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that an immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the matter. . . ." Section 702(b) of the Judicial Code, as amended, 42 Pa. C.S. ยง 702(b). This Court, accordingly, has granted the Township leave to appeal.

The issues before us are 1) whether the Township should have been granted summary judgment in its favor on the grounds that it had no duty to act and 2) whether the Township is immune from liability pursuant to the terms of the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act (Act).*fn1

The instant cause arose on November 29, 1979, when an automobile accident occurred at the intersection of Schoeneck Road and Indiantown Road located in the Township. Appellees' decedents Thomas M. and Vickie Lee Mindala were killed in the accident and Appellee Tracy Lee Osborne, their daughter, was injured. Thomas Mindala was the driver of the Mindala vehicle which was traveling west on Indiantown Road, a state highway.*fn2 The Mindala vehicle collided with a vehicle traveling south on Schoeneck Road, a state highway.

At the time the accident occurred the stop sign located on the northeast corner ...


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