Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Pike County, Pennsylvania, in case of Angelo Mancia and Josephine Mancia, his wife v. Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 164-1983.
Peter Comerota, for appellants.
John T. Clary, Jr., Assistant Counsel, with him, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Henry G. Barr, General Counsel, for appellee.
Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 280]
Angelo and Josephine Mancia (Appellants) appeal an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Pike County granting the Appellee Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's (Department) Motion for Summary Judgment. We affirm.
In 1964, the Department began planning to renovate a portion of Legislative Route 254, Section 9 (Route 507) along the eastern shore of Lake Wallenpaupack in Palmyra Township, Pike County. Then Governor William Scranton signed condemnation plans for the construction on May 25, 1964 and the plans were filed in the Pike County Courthouse.*fn1
In order to implement the construction plans, which included widening the road thirty-two feet, the Department needed to acquire land from property owners along that stretch of Route 507 between the highway and the lake. The Department negotiated with one such property owner, George Drann, for a portion of his property which ran from the road down to the lake front. A final settlement was reached on December 16,
[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 2811964]
, and the parties executed a Deed of Release and Quitclaim for which Drann was paid $3,265. On February 3, 1965, Drann sold his property to the Appellants. The deed conveying the property stated that the conveyance was "SUBJECT to the right of way of Pennsylvania Route No. 507 (January 1965) which runs across the southwesterly side of the above-described premises for public road purposes."
The reconstruction of Route 507 involved, in addition to changing its width, changing the existing drainage system by replacing a twelve-inch drainage pipe with a new eighteen-inch pipe, above what is now the Appellants' property. The Appellants began to notice rainwater flowing from this drainage pipe onto their property in 1965.*fn2 They allege that the water has eroded the soil, creating a ditch or gully. This condition has existed since the pipe was replaced in 1965 and, according to the Appellants, actually continues to worsen as more and more soil is eroded from the ditch.*fn3 Appellants, however, made no complaint to the Department until 1972.
Unsatisfied with the Department's lack of response to their complaints, Appellants brought an action in trespass against the Department on March 2, 1983, claiming damages of $65,000. After depositions were taken and entered into evidence before the trial judge, the Department moved for summary judgment. The motion was granted on November 5, 1985, the trial court holding that the Deed of Release and Quitclaim signed by Drann barred Appellants' claim for ...