From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research

Wallace v. Pittsburgh School Dist

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Nov 26, 1934
175 A. 411 (Pa. 1934)


October 8, 1934.

November 26, 1934.

Negligence — Municipal corporations — School districts — Liability — Contract — Breach — Liability for negligence to employee of party to contract — Actions — Parties — Privity.

An employee of one who has a contract with a school district is not privy to the contract, and may not maintain an action for breach of such contract to recover damages for injuries sustained by him in the course of work under such contract as a consequence of the negligence of the school district.

Argued October 8, 1934.


Appeal, No. 274, March T., 1934, by plaintiff, from judgment of C. P. Allegheny Co., July T., 1934, No. 2071, in case of John Wallace v. The School District of Pittsburgh. Judgment affirmed.

Trespass for personal injuries. Before ROWAND, SMITH and RICHARDSON, JJ.

The opinion of the Supreme Court states the facts.

Affidavit of defense raising questions of law sustained, and judgment entered for defendant in opinion by RICHARDSON, J. Plaintiff appealed.

Error assigned was order, quoting record.

W. G. Negley, of Negley Negley, for appellant.

N. R. Criss and J. C. McIlwain, for appellee, were not heard.

This action of trespass was brought against the School District of Pittsburgh by John Wallace to recover damages for personal injuries alleged to have been received as a consequence of the negligence of the defendant, its servants and agents.

Plaintiff was employed by Frank E. Allen, who had a contract with defendant to remove ashes from various buildings belonging to the school district. The injuries alleged occurred in the course of this work; it is unnecessary to recite the facts in detail. Defendant's affidavit of defense raising questions of law denied there was a sufficient allegation of negligence, and further averred that, even were negligence established, the facts of this case prevent recovery from defendant under the well-known rule that a state agency or public charity is immune from liability for the negligent acts of its agents or employees. Plaintiff, recognizing this general rule, seeks to recover on the ground that a school district may be sued for breach of contract, citing cases, and that his rights arise under the contract between his employer and defendant. As the court below states, the cases cited refer to contracts to which plaintiff was a party and do not apply under the circumstances here presented. In this case, plaintiff was not privy to the contract alleged and could not claim under it. No citation of authorities is needed in support of such a fundamental principle, but Wildoner v. Luzerne Co. Central Poor Dist., 267 Pa. 375, and Brinton v. School District of Shenango Twp., 81 Pa. Super. 456, are particularly apposite to the present case. The court below properly entered judgment for defendant.

Judgment affirmed.

Summaries of

Wallace v. Pittsburgh School Dist

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Nov 26, 1934
175 A. 411 (Pa. 1934)
Case details for

Wallace v. Pittsburgh School Dist

Case Details

Full title:Wallace, Appellant, v. Pittsburgh School District

Court:Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

Date published: Nov 26, 1934


175 A. 411 (Pa. 1934)
175 A. 411

Citing Cases

Rupe v. State Public School Building Authority

Under the law of Pennsylvania, school districts are merely agents of the Commonwealth and cannot be held…

Hartness v. Allegheny County

Wildoner v. Central Poor District of Luzerne County, 267 Pa. 375, 110 A. 175.Ford v. Kendall Borough School…