Appeal from Common Pleas Court, York County; Honorable Thompson McCullough, Judge.
David M. Pollick, Steven B. Spector, Law Office of Dale E. Anstine, P.C., York, for appellant.
Robert J. Stewart, Val E. Winter, Liverant, Senft and Cohen, York, for Garland E. Hawks.
Charles W. Craven, Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman and Goggin, L. Rostaing Tharaud, Philadelphia, for Sowers & Red Lion Police Dept.
Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, McGinley, J., and Narick, Senior Judge.
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 93]
Patrick A. Baker (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County which granted Officer Mark A. Sowers' (Sowers') and the Red Lion Police Department's (Police Department's) motion for judgment on the pleadings. We reverse.
[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 94]
The facts may be summarized as follows. On October 29, 1986, at approximately midnight, Appellant was riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by Garland E. Hawks (Hawks). Officer Sowers observed Hawks' erratic driving, which typified a drunk driver and following standard police procedures, turned on his siren and lights. Hawks, instead of pulling off to the side of the road and stopping, drove away at a high rate of speed with Officer Sowers in pursuit. Hawks, soon thereafter, was unable to negotiate a portion of a country road, and crashed into several telephone poles. Appellant was injured in the crash.
On March 27, 1987, Appellant filed a claim against Hawks,*fn1 Officer Sowers and the Police Department. Appellant alleged in his complaint that the negligent or reckless conduct of Officer Sowers and/or the Police Department caused his injury even though the police vehicle did not contact the Hawks' vehicle. Officer Sowers and the Police Department filed an answer and new matter*fn2 and on September 2, 1987, filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. On December 4, 1987, the trial court granted the motion finding that Appellant failed to state cause of action. It is from that order that Appellant now appeals.
Our scope of review over a grant or denial of judgment on the pleadings is limited to determining whether there has been an error of law or an abuse of discretion. Agostine v. School District of Philadelphia, 106 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 492, 527 A.2d 193 (1987).
Appellant argues that the trial court erred as a matter of law by granting the motion for judgment on the pleadings because the allegations of negligence and recklessness against Officer Sowers and the Police Department state a cause of action which existed at common law ...