Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Commonwealth Court Allows Pro Se Prisoner's Slip and Fall Claim To Go Forward

In the case of Pritchard v. Meintell, No. 49 C.D. 2022 (Pa. Cmwlth. Jan. 10, 2024 Jubelirer, P.J., Cannon, J., and Ceisler, J.) (Op. by Jubelirer, P.J.), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed in part and affirmed in part a lower court’s decision sustaining a Defendant’s demurrer to a prisoner pro se Plaintiff’s slip and fall action on the basis of sovereign immunity.

According to the Opinion, the appellate court found that the trial court erred in finding that the real estate exception did not apply. The trial court was also found to have erred in ruling that sovereign immunity barred the pro se prisoner’s action for his slip and fall injuries.

The court noted that, in alleging that the Defendants failed to maintain the slip/resistant surface on which he slipped, the inmate had adequately alleged an injury that was caused by a dangerous condition of Commonwealth real estate.

The court otherwise found that the inmate’s other negligence claim that were not connected to the negligent maintenance claim were barred under Pennsylvania law.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Jan. 30, 2024).

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