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Skinner v. Ford

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


August 11, 2008

JOANNE F. SKINNER, PLAINTIFF
v.
MICHAEL E. FORD AND DAKOTA LINES, INC, DEFENDANTS/THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS
v.
YU ANMIN, DSL TRANSPORTATION, PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION, AND PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANTS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: (Judge Conner)

ORDER

AND NOW, this 11th day of August 2008, upon consideration of the report of the magistrate judge (Doc. 78), to which objections were filed, (Doc. 80), recommending that the motion to dismiss third-party defendant Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission ("PTC") (Doc. 69) be granted, and, following an independent review of the record, it appearing that third-party plaintiffs predicate their claims upon allegedly deficient management of highway traffic following an automobile accident, that PTC possesses sovereign immunity, and that, to vitiate such immunity, plaintiffs must demonstrate that their injuries were "caused by a condition of government realty itself, deriving, originating from, or having the realty as its source," Osborne v. Cambridge Twp., 736 A.2d 715, 723 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1999); see also 42 P A. C ONS. S TAT. § 8522(b)(4) ,*fn1 and the court finding that the alleged mismanagement of traffic flow is not a defect intrinsic to the real estate itself, see Williams v. Phila. Hous. Auth., 873 A.2d 81, 86 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2005) (stating that the defect "must make the real property itself unsafe for its intended use"),*fn2 and that the allegations are insufficient to vitiate PTC's sovereign immunity under the real estate exception thereto, see 42 P A. C ONS. S TAT. § 8522(b)(4); Mason and Dixon Lines, Inc. v. Mognet, 645 A.2d 1370, 1375 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 1994) (stating that "the real estate exception to sovereign immunity is to be interpreted narrowly against injured plaintiffs"), it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The report and recommendation of the magistrate judge (Doc. 78) is ADOPTED.

2. Third-party Defendant's motion to dismiss (Doc. 69) is GRANTED. Leave to amend is denied as futile. See Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 108 (3d Cir. 2002).*fn3

CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER United States District Judge


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