Thursday, August 19, 2010

consumer - no govt/sovereign immunity under state consumer protection law

Myer, D., et al., etc. v. Community College of Beaver County, Nos. 20-21 WAP 2009
Opinion By: Saylor, Thomas G.
Posted By: W.D. Prothonotary
Date Rendered: 8/17/2010
Date Posted: 8/17/2010
Opinion Type: Majority OpinionJ-22A&B-2010mo.pdf

Date Rendered: 8/17/2010
Date Posted: 8/17/2010
Opinion Type: Concurring Opinion


Reversing the Commonwealth Court, 965 A.2d 406, 968 A.2d. 235 (Cmwlth. 1009), the Supreme Court held that claims against a government entity under the state consumer protection law, 73 P.S. sec, 201-1 et seq., were not barried by sovergeign/governmental immunity.

The court agreed with the plaintiff/appellants "that the approach taken by the Commonwealth Court is not sustainable. As Appellants ably explain, the language of the statute conferring governmental immunity, and of that implementing the exceptions, pertains to conduct causing 'injury to a person or property.' 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 8541, 8542. The Commonwealth Court previously has recognized that these terms reflect the main policy consideration historically underlying tort law, whereas, the central focus of contract law is the protection of bargained-for expectations. See Hazelton Area Sch. Dist. v. Bosak, 671 A.2d 277, 282-83 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1996). . . .In line with the extant understanding of the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, we believe the Legislature centered the immunity there conferred on “injury to a person or property” as a reflection of traditional tort jurisprudence. . . .