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JAMES F. MCCORMICK AND DIANE MCCORMICK v. COLUMBUS CONVEYER COMPANY (10/13/89)

decided: October 13, 1989.

JAMES F. MCCORMICK AND DIANE MCCORMICK, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS,
v.
THE COLUMBUS CONVEYER COMPANY, THE RUST ENGINEERING COMPANY, AND SORDONI CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court, at No. 793 HBG 1986, dated July 21, 1987, affirming the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of the 17th Judicial District, Union County Branch, Civil Division, at No. 396 of 1985, dated November 18, 1986. 369 Pa. Super. 655, 531 A.2d 531 (1987).

COUNSEL

C. Kent Price, Harrisburg, for appellants.

Stanley J.A. Laskowski, Harrisburg, for appellees.

Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Zappala, Papadakos and Stout, JJ. Stout, former Justice, did not participate in the decision of this case. Larsen, J., files a dissenting opinion in which Papadakos, J., joins.

Author: Zappala

[ 522 Pa. Page 522]

OPINION

Appellant James F. McCormick was permanently partially disabled when his right arm caught in the belt conveyor of a coal delivery system while he was working in the powerhouse at Bucknell University. He and his wife brought this products liability action alleging that Columbus Conveyor Company, Rust Engineering Company, and Sordoni Construction Company "jointly and severally designed, manufactured, and sold" the system, and that its defective design and manufacture was the direct and proximate cause of McCormick's injury.

Rust and Sordoni filed motions for summary judgment, asserting that the twelve year statute of repose set out in 42 Pa. C.S. ยง 5536 barred the action. In that section, the General Assembly has provided:

(a) General Rule. -- Except as provided in subsection (b), a civil action or proceeding brought against any person lawfully performing or furnishing the design, planning supervision or observation of construction, or construction of any improvement to real property must be commenced within 12 years after completion of construction of such improvement to recover damages for:

(1) Any damages in the design, planning, supervision or observation of construction or construction of the improvement.

(2) Injury to property, real or personal, arising out of any such deficiency.

(3) Injury to the person or for wrongful death arising out of such deficiency.

(4) Contribution or indemnity for damages sustained on account of any injury mentioned ...


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