Monday, July 27, 2009

housing authorities - sovereign immunity - tort suits

Rhoads v. Phila. Housing Authority - July 2009 - Cmwlth. Court (2-1)

Held: The housing authority is a "commonwealth agency" entitled to sovereign immunity under 42 Pa. C.S. sec. 8522 from a suit against PHA for intentional tort claims of wrongful use of civil proceedings and fraudulent misrepresentation, and demands for punitive damages based on allegations that the PHA filed a false claim against plaintiff, in another suit, for breach of contract.

The dissent argued that the PHA is not a "commonwealth agency" bur rather a "local authority," not entitled to immunity under the statute.