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CAROLINE DELUCA v. WHITEMARSH TOWNSHIP (05/26/87)

decided: May 26, 1987.

CAROLINE DELUCA, APPELLANT
v.
WHITEMARSH TOWNSHIP, AND GREGORY CZARNECKI AND CORSONS LIME COMPANY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, in case of Caroline Deluca v. Whitemarsh Township, and Gregory Czarnecki and Corsons Lime Company, No. 85-03407.

COUNSEL

Norman Ashton Klinger, for appellant.

Audrey L. Jacobsen, with her, Charles W. Craven, Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman and Goggin, for appellee.

Judges Colins and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 326]

Caroline Deluca (Appellant) appeals a ruling of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County (trial court) which sustained the preliminary objections of defendant Whitemarsh Township (Township). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

Appellant filed a civil complaint on April 2, 1985 against Gregory Czarnecki, Corsons Lime Company and the Township seeking damages for injuries sustained when she was allegedly attacked by a wolf belonging to defendant Czarnecki. After the Township filed a motion to strike, Appellant filed an amended complaint on May 22, 1985. The Township filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer to Appellant's amended complaint, and the trial court sustained the demurrer, holding that the Township was immune from liability under 42 Pa. C.S. ยงยง 8541-8564.*fn1 We will

[ 106 Pa. Commw. Page 327]

    refer to these sections generally as the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.

Appellant's amended complaint makes the following relevant allegations:

4. At all times relevant hereto, Defendant Czarnecki was the owner and keeper of a 175 pound Timber Wolf ("wolf" hereinafter). . . .

8. Within two years prior to the events complained of herein Whitemarsh Township Police had possession and control of said wolf and knew or should have known of the presence of the wolf in Whitemarsh Township thereafter, having captured the wolf and returned it to Czarnecki. . . .

13. Defendant Czarnecki is absolutely liable for the injuries caused by his wolf because the wolf was a ...


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