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REVA ROSENBLUM v. PORT AUTHORITY ALLEGHENY COUNTY AND CITY PITTSBURGH (06/21/89)

filed: June 21, 1989.

REVA ROSENBLUM, APPELLANT
v.
PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY AND CITY OF PITTSBURGH, APPELLEES, DORIS J. RIDDICK, APPELLANT V. PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, APPELLEE



Appeal from Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, Honorable Livingstone M. Johnson, Judge, Honorable Bernard J. McGowan, Judge.

COUNSEL

Max A. Levine, Esq., LEVINE & SPATZ, P. C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, FOR APPELLANT in No. 2482 C. D. 1988.

G. N. Evashavik, Esq., EVANSHAVIK & DELLA VECCHIA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, FOR PORT AUTHORITY.

Robert B. Smith, ASST. CITY SOLICITOR, D. R. Pellegrini, Esq., CITY SOLICITOR, DEPT. OF LAW, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, FOR CITY OF PITTSBURGH.

Todd Berkey, Esq., STOKES, LURIE & COLE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, FOR APPELLANT in No. 77 T. D. 1988.

Gary Goldberg, Esq., BERKMAN, RUSLANDER, POHL, LIEBER & ENGEL, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, FOR APPELLEE.

Honorable David W. Craig, Judge, Honorable Doris A. Smith, Judge, Honorable Emil E. Narick, Senior Judge.

Author: Craig

Opinion BY JUDGE DAVID W. CRAIG

Reva Rosenblum and Doris Riddick appeal the respective decisions of Judge Livingstone M. Johnson and Judge Bernard J. McGowan of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which granted summary judgment in favor of the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT) with respect to the appellants' claims for pain and suffering damages. We affirm.

We are treating these cases in consolidated fashion because the sole issue the parties have raised is whether PAT has the benefit of protective provisions of Chapter 85 of the Judiciary Code as a local government unit, 42 Pa. C.S. §§ 8541 - 8542.

Rosenblum was injured on May 28, 1985, while exiting a PAT bus. Riddick was injured on November 15, 1983, when a PAT bus struck the vehicle Riddick was operating. The trial court granted the respective summary judgment in each case because the claims of neither Rosenblum nor Riddick met the pain and suffering damages threshold of the damages-limiting provisions of Chapter 85 of the Judiciary Code, 42 Pa. C.S. § 8553(c)(2)(ii); in suits against local agencies that provision allows damages for pain and suffering only if (1) there is permanent bodily function loss, dismemberment or disfigurement, and (2) medical and dental expenses exceed $1500.

Both parties question this court's decision in Marshall v. Port Authority of Allegheny County, 106 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 131, 525 A.2d 857 (1987), petition for allowance of appeal granted, Pa. , 541 A.2d 748 (1988), arguing that we incorrectly concluded that PAT is a local agency under the governmental immunity provisions. If PAT is a Commonwealth agency rather than a local agency, the sovereign immunity provisions, 42 Pa. C.S. §§ 8521-8528, which do not contain a pain and suffering damages threshold, would apply, rather than the local agency provisions, which contain a $1,500.00 minimum threshold requirement.

Rosenblum does not seek an overruling of our Marshall opinion, but merely suggests that we should await the Supreme Court's review of that decision, and, if the court reverses our decision, we should remand to the trial court. However, as PAT points out, our decision in Marshall ...


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