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JOHN R. MULHOLLAND AND MARTHA JANE MULHOLLAND v. HENRY JOSEPH PALMEN (01/11/89)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: January 11, 1989.

JOHN R. MULHOLLAND AND MARTHA JANE MULHOLLAND, AS PARENTS AND BEST FRIENDS OF JOHN HENRY MULHOLLAND, A MINOR, APPELLANTS
v.
HENRY JOSEPH PALMEN, ET AL., APPELLEES. JOHN R. MULHOLLAND, ET AL. V. HENRY JOSEPH PALMEN, ET AL. UPPER GWYNEDD TOWNSHIP AND DONALD BAILEY, APPELLANTS. WILLIAM HENRY COLEMAN, III AND KATHLEEN COLEMAN V. HENRY JOSEPH PALMEN, ET AL. UPPER GWYNEDD TOWNSHIP AND DONALD BAILEY, APPELLANTS. LAYNE B. BARTLE V. HENRY JOSEPH PALMEN, ET AL. UPPER GWYNEDD TOWNSHIP AND DONALD BAILEY, APPELLANTS

Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County in the case of John R. Mulholland, et al. v. Henry Joseph Palmen, et al., No. 84-11623; in the case of William Henry Coleman, III and Kathleen Coleman v. Henry Joseph Palmen, et al., No. 85-01532; and in the case of Layne B. Bartle v. Henry Joseph Palmen, et al., No. 84-18649, dated July 8, 1987.

COUNSEL

Christopher M. Kerns, McNeily & Rosenfeld, with him, George C. Zumbano, Gawthrop, Greenwood & Halsted, for appellants/appellees, John R. Mulholland and Martha Jane Mulholland.

Charles W. Craven, with him, Maria Zulick, Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman and Goggin, and Robert J. Kearns, for appellants, Upper Gwynedd Township and Donald Bailey.

Thomas H. Talbott, Sullivan & Talbott, with him, Joseph M. Melillo, Angino & Rovner, P.C., for appellees, William Henry Coleman, III and Kathleen Coleman.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., and Judges Craig, Doyle, Barry, Colins, Palladino and McGinley. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr. Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case. Judge Barry concurs in the result only.

Author: Crumlish

[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 573]

Upper Gwynedd Township and Police Officer Donald Bailey, defendants in consolidated personal injury actions, seek to appeal a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court order denying their summary judgment motion.*fn1 We quash this appeal.

[ 122 Pa. Commw. Page 574]

Officer Bailey engaged his police department vehicle in a fifteen minute high-speed chase of a vehicle driven by Henry Palmen. During the chase, Palmen's vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by Henry Coleman in which John Mulholland and Layne Bartle were passengers.

Coleman, Mulholland and Bartle initiated these actions against the township and Bailey, alleging essentially that Bailey's negligent commencement and continuation of a dangerous high-speed chase caused their injuries. The township and Bailey asserted, by way of new matter, governmental immunity as affirmative defenses, 42 Pa. C.S. ยงยง 8541-8564.

The township and Bailey moved for summary judgment, contending, inter alia, that the plaintiffs' actions were barred because they were not within a statutory immunity exception. The trial court denied their motion.

For the reasons set forth in Bollinger v. Obrecht, 122 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 562, 552 A.2d 359 (1989), we quash this appeal.

Order

The appeals of Upper Gwynedd Township and Donald Bailey at Nos. 1821, 1822 and 1823 C.D. 1987 are quashed. The appeal at No. 2128 C.D. 1985 remains stayed pursuant to our April 8, 1986 order.

Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case.

Judge Barry concurs in the result only.

Disposition

Appeal quashed.


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