Governmental Immunity Bars Pennsylvania Pedestrian’s Claim

Posted on: June 29th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

A December 2009 Opinion of the PA Commonwealth Court affirmed a decision by the Washington County Court of Common Pleas dismissing a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident case.  A 31 yr. old man was dropped off on the opposite side of the street on State Route 231 by a Washington County Transportation Authority bus.  The pedestrian was forced to walk through traffic to get to his home even though he had a diminished mental capacity.

The Pennsylvania pedestrian was hit by a car and suffered a pelvic fracture, a coccyx fracture, a broken nose and permanent neurological impairment.  The PA pedestrian accident lawyer filed suit claiming it was negligent for the bus driver to drop off the pedestrian on the wrong side of the road.  The Appeals Court upheld the dismissal based upon the defense of governmental immunity.  The vehicle exception did not apply since the transit bus was not in motion at the time of the pedestrian accident and the bus driver’s alleged negligence.  Phillips ex rel. Phillips v. WCTA, 986 A.2d 925 (PA Cmwlth. 2009)