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DOUGLAS VANN v. SCHOOL DISTRICT PHILADELPHIA (12/20/85)

decided: December 20, 1985.

DOUGLAS VANN, APPELLANT,
v.
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Judgment entered August 20, 1984 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil, No. 5809 April Term, 1984.

COUNSEL

Edward R. Weiss, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Martin Horowitz, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Spaeth, President Judge, and McEwen and Beck, JJ. Spaeth, President Judge, files a dissenting statement.

Author: Mcewen

[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 384]

We here consider an appeal from an order which sustained the preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer filed by appellee, School District of Philadelphia, on the grounds that appellant had failed to state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted. The scope of appellate review of a challenge to an order sustaining preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer is, of course, well settled:

All material facts set forth in the complaint as well as all inferences reasonably deductible therefrom are admitted as true for [the purposes of this review.] Clevenstein v. Rizzuto, 439 Pa. 397, 266 A.2d 623 (1970). The question presented by the demurrer is whether, on the facts averred, the law says with certainty that no recovery is possible. Hoffman v. Misericordia Hospital of Philadelphia, 439 Pa. 501, 267 A.2d 867 (1970). Where a doubt exists as to whether a demurrer should be sustained, this doubt should be resolved in favor of overruling it. Birl v. Philadelphia Electric Co., 402 Pa. 297, 167 A.2d 472 (1960).

Vattimo v. Lower Bucks Hospital, Inc., 502 Pa. 241, 244, 465 A.2d 1231, 1232-1233 (1983). Accord Graham v. Today's Spirit, 503 Pa. 52, 55-56 n. 1, 468 A.2d 454, 456 n. 1 (1983); Swidzinski v. Schultz, 342 Pa. Super. 422, 425, 493 A.2d 93, 95 (1985); Crivellaro v. Pennsylvania Power & Light Co., 341 Pa. Super. 173, 177-78, 491 A.2d 207, 209 (1985); LaZar v. RUR Industries, Inc., 337 Pa. Super. 445, 448-49, 487 A.2d 29, 31 (1985).

We, therefore, accept as true for the purposes of our review, that appellant was injured, while driving a school bus within the course and scope of his employment by

[ 348 Pa. Super. Page 385]

    appellee School District, as a result of a collision with a vehicle driven by an uninsured motorist. When appellant then sought uninsured motorist benefits from appellee, a self-insured entity, appellee refused to pay such benefits. Appellant filed a complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County to which appellee filed preliminary objections alleging that appellant had failed to state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted. The preliminary objections were sustained and this appeal followed.

The sole issue for our consideration is whether the Workmen's Compensation Act*fn1 provides the exclusive remedy available to an employee, who, while operating his employer's vehicle within the scope of his employment, is injured in an automobile accident involving an uninsured motorist; or whether the employee is entitled to collect from his employer, a self-insured entity, uninsured motorist benefits*fn2 in addition to the Workmen's Compensation payments. We conclude that such an employee is limited to the benefits available under the Workmen's Compensation Act and may not recover, in addition thereto, uninsured motorist benefits from his employer.

The declaration of Section 303 of the Workmen's Compensation Act is, once again in this appeal, ...


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