Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act – Scranton Victory

In a matter involving the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, our Scranton based colleague, Mark Sheridan, was recently successful in having our client, the Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority, dismissed from a case involving the allegedly wrongful placement and location of a water line. Plaintiffs, the developer of a commercial project not far from Williamsport, PA, sought monetary damages for loss of profits, increased engineering fees, diminution of value of their land, and punitive damages as a result of the Water Authority’s involvement in the placement of a water line which, they contended, wrongfully trespassed across a section of road that had not yet been accepted by the local township as a dedicated street. Plaintiffs also sought injunctive relief requesting the water authority, at its own cost, relocate the line.

Mark filed Preliminary Objections on behalf of the Water and Sewer Authority contending the Plaintiffs could not circumvent the immunity granted to local municipalities (which include water authorities) given the facts alleged and, as such, had no claim to any damages; the Court not only agreed with Mark’s position, but, also accepted his position that the law prohibits pursuit of punitive damages from a municipality in a negligence action. For a copy of the Order and Opinion please contact Mark at msheridan@margolisedelstein.com