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ROBERT D. THOMPSON v. SELF CENTER (03/31/87)

decided: March 31, 1987.

ROBERT D. THOMPSON, SR. AND LILLIAN THOMPSON, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS ADMINISTRATORS OF THE ESTATE OF LINDA THOMPSON, DECEASED, APPELLANTS
v.
SELF CENTER, INC., & LEE GRIFFIN & CITY OF PHILADELPHIA AND COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in case of Robert D. Thompson, Sr. & Lillian Thompson, Ind. and as Administrators of the Estate of Linda Thompson, Deceased v. Self Center, Inc. and Lee Griffin and City of Philadelphia, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 2413 October Term, 1985.

COUNSEL

Jerome M. Dubyn, Dubyn & Smith, P.C., for appellants.

Norman G. Prajzner, Chief Assistant City Solicitor, with him, Armando A. Pandola, Jr., Chief Deputy in Charge of Claims and Handsel B. Minyard, City Solicitor, for appellee, City of Philadelphia.

Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 121]

Robert D. Thompson, Sr. and Lillian Thompson, individually and as administrators of the estate of Linda Thompson, deceased, appeal an order by Judge White of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which sustained the City of Philadelphia's preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer and dismissed the appellants' complaint.

[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 122]

According to the complaint,*fn1 the decedent Linda Thompson, was a mentally incompetent person who was under the custody, care and control of Self Center, Inc., a business duly authorized and was acting as an agent of "Defendants City of Philadelphia and/or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," in housing and caring for indigents and other needy persons. On October 23, 1983, at approximately 5 a.m., the decedent, through means unexplained, was wandering in the vicinity of Broad and Spencer Streets in the City of Philadelphia when she was struck by an automobile, causing her to sustain severe personal injuries which resulted in her death on November 16, 1983.

This appeal relates only to the City of Philadelphia because the trial court's order addressed it alone and made no reference to the appellants' action against the Commonwealth.

Judge White characterized the complaint as alleging only that the city failed to supervise the decedent's actions properly. Accordingly, he rejected the appellants' contention that the action fell within section 202(b)(3) of the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act,*fn2 the real property exception to governmental immunity.

Before this court, the appellants renew their contention that their cause of action falls within that exception, which provides in part:

[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 123]

(b) Actions or activities which may impose liability. -- The following acts or activities by a political subdivision or any of its employees may result in the ...


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