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RONALD ANDREW NATT v. DAVID ANDREW LABAR ET AL. (06/22/88)

decided: June 22, 1988.

RONALD ANDREW NATT, ANDREW NATT AND SHARON NATT, H/W, APPELLANTS
v.
DAVID ANDREW LABAR ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, in the case of Ronald Andrew Natt, Andrew Natt and Sharon Natt, his wife v. David Andrew Labar, John J. Labar and Grace M. Labar, his wife, Township of Exeter, a Municipal Corp., Township of Exeter Police Department, Ernest Hoover, Chief of Police of Township of Exeter, No. 3424-C of 1984.

COUNSEL

Joseph Van Jura, for appellants.

Joseph J. Musto, with him, Susan M. Rooney, Harry V. Cardoni, for appellees.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges McGinley and Smith, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Smith.

Author: Smith

[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 209]

Ronald, Andrew, and Sharon Natt (Appellants) appeal from the granting of summary judgment by the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in favor of the Township of Exeter, Township of Exeter Police Department, and Ernest Hoover, Chief of Police of the Township of Exeter, (Appellees)*fn1 pursuant to the Governmental Immunities Act (Act).*fn2 The question presented for review is whether the trial court committed an error of law or abused its discretion in granting summary judgment to Appellees. For reasons discussed herein, the trial court's decision is affirmed.

While engaging in horseplay on July 15, 1983, David Labar, minor child of John J. Labar (Labar), removed

[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 210]

    an unlocked and loaded service revolver from his father's bedroom closet, pointed it at Ronald Natt, a visitor in the Labar home, and pulled the trigger.*fn3 Ronald Natt was shot in the jaw, suffering injuries for which he now seeks damages. Prior to this incident, Labar, a part-time police officer employed by Exeter Township, returned home from work and hung his .357 Magnum service revolver inside his unsecured bedroom closet. The incident in question occurred sometime thereafter while Labar and his wife, Grace, were away from their family residence.

Appellants filed their negligence action against Appellees on July 12, 1985. Appellees filed an answer and new matter on August 1, 1985 and on June 27, 1986, filed their motion for summary judgment based upon governmental immunity pursuant to the Act.*fn4 In granting summary judgment, the trial court determined that the record failed to satisfy the second requisite condition imposed by Section 8542(a) of the Act relating to injury caused by the negligent acts of a local agency or

[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 211]

    its employee acting within the scope of his employment with respect to one of the exceptions enumerated in Section 8542(b). The trial court found that none of ...


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