This blog features case law related to real estate, land use, zoning, and municipal law in Pennsylvania

Tag: J. Donohue

City Not Immune from Liability for Negligence of City Employees During Excavation That Caused Collapse of Utility’s Conduit Bank

In this appeal out of Berks County, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court was asked to construe the language of the utility service facilities exception (“Utility Exception”) to governmental immunity contained in the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act (“Tort Claims Act”). Finding the Commonwealth Court erred by not applying the Utility Exception, the Court reversed.

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Diversion of Oil and Gas Proceeds to General Fund Was Violation of Environmental Rights Amendment

In this direct appeal from a decision of the Commonwealth Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the text of the Environmental Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution (Art. 1, § 27) was the appropriate standard of judicial review for determining the constitutionality of Commonwealth agency actions. In so ruling, the Court expressly rejected the balancing test established by the Commonwealth Court in Payne v. Kassab, 312 A.2d 86 (Pa. Commw. 1973), which had been used for decades to determine whether state action was in violation of the Environmental Rights Amendment.

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