42c8301h

 

 

CHAPTER 83

PARTICULAR RIGHTS AND IMMUNITIES

 

Subchapter

A.  Rights of Action

B.  Contribution Among Tort-feasors

C.  Immunities Generally

D.  Defamation

E.  Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings

F.  Corporate Directors' Liability (Repealed)

F.1. Successor Business Entity Liability

G.  Special Damages

H.  Drug Nuisances

 

Enactment.  Present Chapter 83 was added July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53.

Prior Provisions.  Former Chapter 83, which related to bases of jurisdiction, was added November 15, 1972, P.L.1063, No.271, and repealed July 9, 1976, P.L.586, No.142, effective 60 days from the date of final enactment of the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53. The subject matter is now contained in Chapter 53 of this title.

 

 

SUBCHAPTER A

RIGHTS OF ACTION

 

Sec.

8301.  Death action.

8302.  Survival action.

8303.  Action for performance of a duty required by law.

8304.  Damages in actions on bad checks.

8305.  Actions for wrongful birth and wrongful life.

8306.  Defense against claim for injury sustained in utero barred.

8307.  Action by parent, guardian or other custodian for damages in the sale or transfer of controlled substances to a child.

8308.  Damages in actions on retail theft.

8309.  Civil rights violations.

8310.  Damages in actions on thefts of leased property.

8311.  Damages in actions for conversion of timber.

8312.  Profits received as a result of commission of crime.

8313.  Agricultural crop destruction.

8314.  Assault with biological agent on animal, fowl or honey bees.

8315.  Damages in actions for identity theft.

8316.  Unauthorized use of name or likeness.

8316.1. Damages in actions for unlawful dissemination of intimate image.

8317.  Actions involving products or services used to invade privacy.

8318.  Terrorism action.

8319.  Ecoterrorism.

8320.  Commemorative service demonstration action.

42c8301s

§ 8301.  Death action.

(a)  General rule.--An action may be brought, under procedures prescribed by general rules, to recover damages for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another if no recovery for the same damages claimed in the wrongful death action was obtained by the injured individual during his lifetime and any prior actions for the same injuries are consolidated with the wrongful death claim so as to avoid a duplicate recovery.

(b)  Beneficiaries.--Except as provided in subsection (d), the right of action created by this section shall exist only for the benefit of the spouse, children or parents of the deceased, whether or not citizens or residents of this Commonwealth or elsewhere. The damages recovered shall be distributed to the beneficiaries in the proportion they would take the personal estate of the decedent in the case of intestacy and without liability to creditors of the deceased person under the statutes of this Commonwealth.

(c)  Special damages.--In an action brought under subsection (a), the plaintiff shall be entitled to recover, in addition to other damages, damages for reasonable hospital, nursing, medical, funeral expenses and expenses of administration necessitated by reason of injuries causing death.

(d)  Action by personal representative.--If no person is eligible to recover damages under subsection (b), the personal representative of the deceased may bring an action to recover damages for reasonable hospital, nursing, medical, funeral expenses and expenses of administration necessitated by reason of injuries causing death.

42c8301v

(Dec. 20, 1982, P.L.1409, No.326, eff. imd.; July 6, 1995, P.L.309, No.46, eff. 60 days)

 

1995 Amendment.  Act 46 amended subsec. (a). Section 2 of Act 46 provided that Act 46 shall apply to a cause of action that accrues on or after the effective date of Act 46.

1982 Amendment.  Act 326 amended subsecs. (a), (c) and (d), retroactive to June 27, 1978.

42c8302s

§ 8302.  Survival action.

All causes of action or proceedings, real or personal, shall survive the death of the plaintiff or of the defendant, or the death of one or more joint plaintiffs or defendants.

42c8302v

 

Cross References.  Section 8302 is referred to in section 3371 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries).

42c8303s

§ 8303.  Action for performance of a duty required by law.

A person who is adjudged in an action in the nature of mandamus to have failed or refused without lawful justification to perform a duty required by law shall be liable in damages to the person aggrieved by such failure or refusal.

42c8304s

§ 8304.  Damages in actions on bad checks.

(a)  General rule.--In a civil action to recover damages and costs following a conviction for passing a bad check pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 4105 (relating to bad checks) and failure to make full restitution, the payee shall, upon obtaining judgment, be entitled to recover damages in an amount equal to $100 or triple the amount for which the check was drawn, whichever is greater.

(b)  Limitation.--Damages recovered under this section may not exceed by more than $500 the value of the check and shall be awarded only if:

(1)  the payee made written demand of the issuer for payment of the amount of the check, including interest and service charges authorized by 18 Pa.C.S. § 4105(e), not less than ten days before commencing the action; and

(2)  the issuer failed to tender to the payee, prior to commencement of the action, an amount of money not less than the amount demanded.

(c)  Restriction.--Notwithstanding subsection (a), if partial restitution has been made, damages recovered under this section may not exceed triple the amount of the unpaid restitution.

42c8304v

(Dec. 11, 1986, P.L.1481, No.151, eff. 90 days; Dec. 15, 1986, P.L.1598, No.177, eff. 60 days; June 22, 2000, P.L.382, No.50, eff. 60 days)

 

2000 Amendment.  Act 50 amended subsec. (b).

1986 Amendments.  Acts 151 and 177 added section 8304. The amendments by Acts 151 and 177 are identical and therefore have been merged.

42c8305s

§ 8305.  Actions for wrongful birth and wrongful life.

(a)  Wrongful birth.--There shall be no cause of action or award of damages on behalf of any person based on a claim that, but for an act or omission of the defendant, a person once conceived would not or should not have been born. Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit any cause of action or award of damages for the wrongful death of a woman, or on account of physical injury suffered by a woman or a child, as a result of an attempted abortion. Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to provide a defense against any proceeding charging a health care practitioner with intentional misrepresentation under the act of October 5, 1978 (P.L.1109, No.261), known as the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act, the act of December 20, 1985 (P.L.457, No.112), known as the Medical Practice Act of 1985, or any other act regulating the professional practices of health care practitioners.

(b)  Wrongful life.--There shall be no cause of action on behalf of any person based on a claim of that person that, but for an act or omission of the defendant, the person would not have been conceived or, once conceived, would or should have been aborted.

(c)  Conception.--A person shall be deemed to be conceived at the moment of fertilization.

42c8305v

(Apr. 13, 1988, P.L.336, No.47, eff. imd.)

 

1988 Amendment.  Act 47 added section 8305. Section 7 of Act 47 provided that section 8305 shall not apply to any case in which a final award of damages has been made and with regard to which the time to take an appeal has expired without an appeal being taken. Section 8 of Act 47 provided that, except as provided in section 2 of Act 47, which added section 8305, section 8305 shall have retroactive effect, including application to any case pending or on appeal.

42c8306s

§ 8306.  Defense against claim for injury sustained in utero barred.

Where a person has, by reason of the wrongful act or negligence of another, sustained injury while in utero, it shall not be a defense to any action brought to recover damages for the injury, or a factor in mitigation of damages, that the person could or should have been aborted.

42c8306v

(Apr. 13, 1988, P.L.336, No.47, eff. imd.)

 

1988 Amendment.  Act 47 added section 8306. Section 7 of Act 47 provided that section 8306 shall not apply to any case in which a final award of damages has been made and with regard to which the time to take an appeal has expired without an appeal being taken. Section 8 of Act 47 provided that, except as provided in section 2 of Act 47, which added section 8306, section 8306 shall have retroactive effect, including application to any case pending or on appeal.

42c8307s

§ 8307.  Action by parent, guardian or other custodian for damages in the sale or transfer of controlled substances to a child.

(a)  Cause of action established.--The parent, guardian or other custodian of any child under 18 years of age to whom a controlled substance or designer drug, as defined under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, is sold or transferred shall have a cause of action against the person who sold or transferred the controlled substance or the designer drug to the child, and recovery may be sought by the child's parent, guardian or other custodian for damages caused by the sale or transfer of the controlled substance or designer drug.

(b)  Damages.--Damages shall include the cost for treatment and rehabilitation relating to or resulting from the child's drug dependency or use. The court may order that some or all of this award be placed in a fund for the purpose of providing for the treatment and rehabilitation of the child's drug dependency or use, including past treatment and rehabilitation.

(c)  Attorney fees.--Reasonable attorney fees shall be awarded to a party that brings suit and prevails under this cause of action.

(d)  Exception.--This section shall not apply to a practitioner who sells or transfers a controlled substance listed in The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act to a child pursuant to a valid prescription.

42c8307v

(Dec. 22, 1989, P.L.722, No.96, eff. 60 days)

 

1989 Amendment.  Act 96 added section 8307.

42c8308s

§ 8308.  Damages in actions on retail theft.

(a)  General rule.--In a civil action based on retail theft, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3929(a) (relating to retail theft), a court of competent jurisdiction shall utilize the following remedies:

(1)  Order the defendant to restore the merchandise to the plaintiff in its original condition, if possible.

(2)  Award damages as follows:

(i)  If it is not possible to restore the merchandise in its original condition under paragraph (1), award the value of the merchandise as damages.

(ii)  Award actual damages arising from the incident. Damages under this subparagraph do not include the loss of time or wages incurred by the plaintiff in connection with the apprehension and prosecution of the defendant.

(iii)  Award reasonable attorney fees and reasonable court costs.

(3)  Award a civil penalty to the plaintiff in the amount of the value of the merchandise plus $150.

(b)  Minors.--If the defendant is a minor, the act of July 27, 1967 (P.L.186, No.58), entitled "An act imposing liability upon parents for personal injury, or theft, destruction, or loss of property caused by the willful, tortious acts of children under eighteen years of age, setting forth limitations, and providing procedure for recovery," applies.

(c)  Criminal disposition.--Criminal prosecution under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3929 is not a prerequisite to the applicability of this section.

(d)  Limitations.--

(1)  The plaintiff shall send a notice to the defendant's last known address giving the defendant 20 days to respond before a civil action may be commenced.

(2)  No civil action under this section may be maintained if the defendant has paid the plaintiff a penalty equal to the retail value of the merchandise, not to exceed $500, plus the sum of $150.

(e)  Release.--If the person to whom a written demand is made complies with such demand within 20 days after the receipt of the demand, that person shall be given a written release from further civil liability with respect to the specific act of retail theft.

42c8308v

(Nov. 21, 1990, P.L.563, No.141, eff. 60 days)

 

1990 Amendment.  Act 141 added section 8308.

References in Text.  The act of July 27, 1967, P.L.186, No.58, referred to in subsec. (b), was repealed by the act of December 19, 1990, P.L.1240, No.206. The subject matter is now contained in Chapter 55 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations).

42c8309s

§ 8309.  Civil rights violations.

(a)  Redress for personal injury.--A person who incurs injury to his person or damage or loss to his property as a result of conduct described in 18 Pa.C.S. § 2710 (relating to ethnic intimidation) or 3307 (relating to institutional vandalism) shall have a right of action against the actor for injunction, damages or other appropriate civil or equitable relief. In the action, the issue of whether the defendant engaged in the conduct alleged shall be determined according to the burden of proof used in other civil actions for similar relief. The plaintiff may seek recovery for any of the following:

(1)  General and special damages, including damages for emotional distress. Damages under this paragraph shall be actual damages or $500, whichever is greater.

(2)  Punitive damages.

(3)  Reasonable attorney fees and costs.

(4)  Injunctive and other equitable relief.

(5)  Such other relief which the court deems necessary and proper.

(b)  Redress sought by public official on behalf of others.--When conduct which would constitute a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 2710 or 3307 has occurred, the district attorney of the county in which the violation took place or the Attorney General, after consulting with the district attorney, may institute a civil action for injunctive or other equitable relief if needed to protect any person or property. The civil action shall be brought in the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the county where the violation occurred.

(c)  Filing of court orders.--The prothonotary of the court in which a civil action is brought under subsection (a) or (b) shall transmit two certified copies of any order issued in the action to each appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over locations where the defendant is alleged to have committed the act and where the defendant resides or has his principal place of business. The sheriff of the county in which the defendant resides shall serve a copy of the order on the defendant. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, service shall be by delivering a copy in hand to the defendant. Law enforcement agencies shall establish procedures adequate to ensure that all officers responsible for the enforcement of the order are informed of its existence and terms. When a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a defendant has violated the provisions of an order, the officer may arrest him.

(d)  Contempt notice required to be part of order.--In actions brought under this section, when a court issues a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction ordering a defendant to refrain from certain conduct or activities, the order issued shall contain the following statement: VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

(e)  Penalties.--A violation of an order issued and served as set forth in this section shall be a misdemeanor of the second degree. If bodily injury results from the violation, the violation shall be a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(f)  Vacated orders.--When the court vacates a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction issued under this section, the prothonotary shall promptly notify in writing each appropriate law enforcement agency which had been notified of the issuance of the order and shall direct each such agency to destroy all records of the order, and the agency shall comply with the directive upon receipt of the notification.

42c8309v

(Dec. 19, 1990, P.L.1394, No.216, eff. 60 days)

 

1990 Amendment.  Act 216 added section 8309.

42c8310s

§ 8310.  Damages in actions on thefts of leased property.

(a)  General rule.--In a civil action based on theft of leased property, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3932(a) (relating to theft of leased property), a court of competent jurisdiction may utilize the following remedies:

(1)  Order the defendant to restore the merchandise to the plaintiff in its original condition, if possible.

(2)  Award damages as follows:

(i)  If it is not possible to restore the merchandise in its original condition under paragraph (1), award the value of the merchandise as damages.

(ii)  Award actual damages arising from the incident. Damages under this subparagraph do not include the loss of time or wages incurred by the plaintiff in connection with the apprehension and prosecution of the defendant.

(iii)  Award reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

(3)  Award a civil penalty to the plaintiff in the amount of the value of the merchandise plus $150.

(b)  Minors.--If the defendant is a minor, the act of July 27, 1967 (P.L.186, No.58), entitled "An act imposing liability upon parents for personal injury, or theft, destruction, or loss of property caused by the wilful, tortious acts of children under eighteen years of age, setting forth limitations, and providing procedure for recovery," applies.

(c)  Criminal disposition.--Criminal prosecution under 18 Pa.C.S. § 3932 is not a prerequisite to the applicability of this section.

(d)  Limitations.--

(1)  No civil action under this section may be maintained if the defendant has returned the merchandise to the plaintiff and paid all obligations under the contract establishing a lease agreement plus the sum of $150.

(2)  No civil action under this section may be maintained unless:

(i)  the plaintiff has sent a notice to defendant's last known address; and

(ii)  the plaintiff has given the defendant 20 days to respond to the notice before the action is commenced.

(e)  Release.--If the person to whom a written demand is made complies with such demand within 20 days after the receipt of the demand, that person shall be given a written release from further civil liability with respect to the specific act of theft of leased property.

42c8310v

(July 11, 1991, P.L.79, No.14, eff. 60 days)

 

1991 Amendment.  Act 14 added section 8310.

References in Text.  The act of July 27, 1967, P.L.186, No.58, referred to in subsec. (b), was repealed by the act of December 19, 1990, P.L.1240, No.206. The subject matter is now contained in Chapter 55 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations).

42c8311s

§ 8311.  Damages in actions for conversion of timber.

(a)  General rule.--In lieu of all other damages or civil remedies provided by law, a person who cuts or removes the timber of another person without the consent of that person shall be liable to that person in a civil action for an amount of damages equal to:

(1)  the usual and customary costs of establishing the value of the timber cut or removed and of complying with the erosion and sedimentation control regulations contained in 25 Pa. Code Ch. 102 (relating to erosion control);

(1.1)  the cost of any surveys obtained in connection with the civil action; and

(2)  one of the following:

(i)  three times the market value of the timber cut or removed if the act is determined to have been deliberate;

(ii)  two times the market value of the timber cut or removed if the act is determined to have been negligent; or

(iii)  the market value of the timber cut or removed if the defendant is determined to have had a reasonable basis for believing that the land on which the act was committed was his or that of the person in whose service or by whose direction the act was done.

(b)  Restitution.--Any damages awarded under this section shall be reduced by any restitution which is made under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1107 (relating to restitution for theft of timber).

(c)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Timber."  Standing trees, logs or parts of trees that are commonly merchandized as wood products.

"Market value."  The value of the standing timber at local market prices for the species and quality of timber cut or removed at the time it was cut or removed.

42c8311v

(Feb. 17, 1994, P.L.113, No.10, eff. 60 days; May 17, 2001, P.L.23, No.7, eff. 60 days)

 

2001 Amendment.  Act 7 amended subsec. (a).

1994 Amendment.  Act 10 added section 8311.

42c8312s

§ 8312.  Profits received as a result of commission of crime.

(a)  General rule.--If a person has been convicted of a crime, every person who knowingly contracts for, pays or agrees to pay any profit from a crime to that person shall give written notice to the board of the payment or obligation to pay as soon as practicable after discovering that the payment or intended payment is a profit from a crime. The board, upon receipt of notice of a contract, an agreement to pay or payment of profits from a crime, shall notify all known eligible persons at their last known address of the existence of the profits.

(b)  Right of action.--Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law or rules of civil procedure with respect to the timely bringing of an action, any eligible person shall have the right to bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover money damages from a person convicted of a crime or the legal representative of that convicted person within three years of the discovery of any profits from a crime. Any damages awarded in this action shall be recoverable only up to the value of the profits from the crime. If an action is filed under this subsection after the expiration of all other applicable statutes of limitation, any other eligible person must file any action for damages as a result of the crime within three years of the actual discovery of profits from the crime or of actual notice received from or notice published by the board of the discovery, whichever is later. If any profits from a crime remain after the payment of claims made under this section, the board shall have the right to bring a civil action within two years in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover any payments made by the board pursuant to Article IV of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929, and any expenses incurred by the board pursuant to Article IV of The Administrative Code of 1929 or this section with regard to such crime or the person convicted of such crime.

(c)  Notice.--Upon filing an action under subsection (b), the eligible person shall give notice to the board of the filing by delivering a copy of the complaint to the board. The eligible person may also give notice to the board prior to filing the action so as to allow the board to apply for any appropriate remedies which are otherwise authorized to be invoked prior to the commencement of an action.

(d)  Responsibilities of board.--Upon receipt of a copy of a complaint, the board shall immediately take action as necessary to:

(1)  Notify all other known eligible persons of the alleged existence of profits from a crime by certified mail, return receipt requested, where the eligible persons' names and addresses are known by the board.

(2)  Publish, at least once a year for three years from the date it is initially notified by an eligible person under subsection (c), a legal notice in newspapers of general circulation in the county wherein the crime was committed and in counties contiguous to that county advising any eligible persons of the existence of profits from a crime. The board may in its discretion provide for additional notice as it deems necessary.

(3)  Avoid the wasting of the assets identified in the complaint as the newly discovered profits from a crime in any manner consistent with subsection (e).

(e)  Other remedies.--The board, acting on behalf of all eligible persons, shall have the right to apply for any and all remedies that are also otherwise available to an eligible person bringing an action under subsection (b). The remedies of attachment, injunction, receivership and notice of pendency available under law to an eligible person bringing an action under subsection (b) shall also be available to the board in all actions under this subsection. On a motion for a remedy, the moving party shall state whether any other remedy has previously been sought in the same action against the same defendant. The court may require the moving party to elect between those remedies to which it would otherwise be entitled.

(f)  Evasive action null and void.--Any action taken by any person convicted of a crime, whether by way of execution of a power of attorney, creation of corporate entities or otherwise, to defeat the purpose of this section shall be null and void as against the public policy of this Commonwealth.

(g)  Penalties.--

(1)  Any person who willfully fails to do any of the following is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 for each offense and not more than an amount equal to three times the contract amount:

(i)  submit to the board a copy of the contract described in subsection (a); or

(ii)  pay over to the board any moneys or other consideration as required by this section.

(2)  If two or more persons are subject to the penalties provided in this section, the persons shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the penalty imposed.

(3)  After notice and opportunity to be heard is provided, the board may by order assess the penalties described in this section.

(4)  If the penalties are not paid within 30 days from the date of the order, any penalty assessed under this section shall bear interest at the rate of 1% per month, compounded monthly.

(5)  An action to recover a civil penalty assessed under this section may be brought by the board in a court of competent jurisdiction within six years after the cause of action accrues.

(6)  Any moneys recovered under this subsection shall be paid into the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund.

(h)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Board."  The Crime Victim's Compensation Board as defined in section 477 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929.

"Convicted."  Includes conviction by entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, conviction after trial and a finding of not guilty due to insanity or of guilty but mentally ill.

"Eligible person."  Includes any of the following persons:

(1)  A victim of the particular crime in question, as "victim" is defined in section 479.1 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929.

(2)  An intervenor in such crime.

(3)  A surviving spouse, parent or child of a deceased victim of or intervenor in such crime.

(4)  Any other person dependent for his principal support upon a deceased victim of or intervenor in such crime.

No person who is criminally responsible for the crime in question or was an accomplice of the person who is criminally responsible shall be an eligible person.

"Profit from a crime."  Includes any of the following:

(1)  Any property obtained through or income generated from the commission of a crime of which the defendant was convicted.

(2)  Any property obtained by or income generated from the sale, conversion or exchange of proceeds of a crime of which the defendant was convicted, including any gain realized by such sale, conversion or exchange.

(3)  Any property which the defendant obtained or income generated as a result of having committed the crime of which the defendant was convicted, including any assets obtained through the use of unique knowledge obtained during the commission of or in preparation for the commission of the crime, as well as any property obtained by or income generated from the sale, conversion or exchange of such property and any gain realized by such sale, conversion or exchange.

42c8312v

(May 3, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.999, No.12, eff. imd.)

 

1995 Amendment.  Act 12, 1st Sp.Sess., added section 8312.

References in Text.  Sections 477 and 479.1 of the act of April 9, 1929, P.L.177, No.175, known as The Administrative Code of 1929, referred to in subsec. (h), were repealed by the act of November 24, 1998, P.L.882, No.111, known as the Crime Victims Act. The subject matter is now contained in Act 111.

42c8313s

§ 8313.  Agricultural crop destruction.

(a)  Civil action and relief available.--An aggrieved owner of damaged field crops, vegetable or fruit plants or trees raised for scientific or commercial purposes or for any testing or research purpose in conjunction with a public or private research facility or a university or any Federal, State or local government agency may, in a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction, obtain appropriate relief, including compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable investigative expenses and reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated with the litigation. Upon a showing of cause for the issuance of injunctive relief, a court may issue temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions as may be appropriate. During any period that an action under this section is pending, a court may order the cessation of the activity forming the basis of the complaint.

(b)  Valuations.--In awarding damages under this section, the courts shall consider the market value of the field crops, vegetable or fruit plants or trees prior to damage and production, research, testing, replacement and crop development costs directly related to the crop that has been damaged as part of the value of the crop as well as damage to any records, data and data-gathering equipment or devices.

(c)  Limitations.--Damages recovered under this section shall be limited to treble the market value of the field crops, vegetable or fruit plants or trees prior to damage and actual damages involving production, research, testing, replacement and development costs directly related to the crop that has been damaged.

(d)  Exceptions.--The provisions of this section shall not apply to field crops, vegetable or fruit plants or trees damaged through research or normal commercial activity.

42c8313v

(June 22, 2001, P.L.386, No.27, eff. imd.)

 

2001 Amendment.  Act 27 added section 8313.

42c8314s

§ 8314.  Assault with biological agent on animal, fowl or honey bees.

(a)  Civil action and relief available.--An animal owner aggrieved by exposure of an animal, fowl or honey bees to any virus, bacteria, prion or other agent which causes infectious disease, including foot-and-mouth disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, avian influenza or varroamite, may, in a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction, obtain appropriate relief, including compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable investigation expenses and reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated with the litigation of the action. Upon a showing of cause for the issuance of injunctive relief, a court may issue temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions as may be appropriate under this section. During any period that an action under this section is pending, a court may order the cessation of the complained-of activity.

(b)  Exceptions.--The provisions of this section shall not apply to research or veterinarian services, including immunizations, vaccinations or other treatments administered during the normal scope of practice.

42c8314v

(June 25, 2001, P.L.619, No.54, eff. imd.)

 

2001 Amendment.  Act 54 added section 8314.

42c8315s

§ 8315.  Damages in actions for identity theft.

In a civil action based on identity theft as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 4120 (relating to identity theft), a court of competent jurisdiction may award damages as follows:

(1)  Actual damages arising from the incident or $500, whichever is greater. Damages include loss of money, reputation or property, whether real or personal. The court may, in its discretion, award up to three times the actual damages sustained, but not less than $500.

(2)  Reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

(3)  Additional relief the court deems necessary and proper.

42c8315v

(June 19, 2002, P.L.430, No.62, eff. 60 days)

 

2002 Amendment.  Act 62 added section 8315.

Cross References.  Section 8315 is referred to in section 5525 of this title.

42c8316s

§ 8316.  Unauthorized use of name or likeness.

(a)  Cause of action established.--Any natural person whose name or likeness has commercial value and is used for any commercial or advertising purpose without the written consent of such natural person or the written consent of any of the parties authorized in subsection (b) may bring an action to enjoin such unauthorized use and to recover damages for any loss or injury sustained by such use.

(b)  Parties authorized to bring action.--Such action may be brought by:

(1)  The natural person.

(2)  A parent or guardian of a natural person, if the natural person is a minor.

(3)  If such natural person is deceased, any person, firm or corporation authorized in writing to license the commercial or advertising use of the natural person's name or likeness by the natural person during the natural person's lifetime or by will or other testamentary device; an executor named in a will or designated by a court of competent jurisdiction; or where there is no such authorization, then by the deceased person's surviving spouse at the time of death until the surviving spouse's death or, in a case where there is no surviving spouse, then any other heir or group of heirs having at least a 50% interest in the deceased person's estate as provided for under law.

(4)  Any other person, firm or corporation authorized in writing by such natural person to license the commercial or advertising purposes of the person's name or likeness.

(c)  Repose.--No action shall be commenced under this section more than 30 years after the death of such natural person.

(d)  Immunity.--No person, firm or corporation, including their employees and agents, in the business of producing, manufacturing, publishing or disseminating material for commercial or advertising purposes by any communications medium shall be held liable under this section unless they had actual knowledge of the unauthorized use of the name or likeness of a natural person as prohibited by this section.

(e)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Commercial or advertising purpose."

(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), the term shall include the public use or holding out of a natural person's name or likeness:

(i)  on or in connection with the offering for sale or sale of a product, merchandise, goods, services or businesses;

(ii)  for the purpose of advertising or promoting products, merchandise, goods or services of a business; or

(iii)  for the purpose of fundraising.

(2)  The term shall not include the public use or holding out of a natural person's name or likeness in a communications medium when:

(i)  the natural person appears as a member of the public and the natural person is not named or otherwise identified;

(ii)  it is associated with a news report or news presentation having public interest;

(iii)  it is an expressive work;

(iv)  it is an original work of fine art;

(v)  it is associated with announcement for a commercial or advertising purpose for a use permitted by subparagraph (ii), (iii) or (iv); or

(vi)  it is associated with the identification of a natural person as the author of or contributor to a written work or the performer of a recorded performance under circumstances in which the written work or the recorded performance is lawfully produced, reproduced, exhibited or broadcast.

"Commercial value."  Valuable interest in a natural person's name or likeness that is developed through the investment of time, effort and money.

"Communications medium."  Includes, but is not limited to, a newspaper, magazine, book, newsletter, billboard, telephone, radio, television, recording, computer software, digital communications network, transit ad, audiovisual work or global communications network.

"Expressive work."  A literary, dramatic, fictional, historical, audiovisual or musical work regardless of the communications medium by which it is exhibited, displayed, performed or transmitted, other than when used or employed for a commercial or advertising purpose.

"Name" or "likeness."  Any attribute of a natural person that serves to identify that natural person to an ordinary, reasonable viewer or listener, including, but not limited to, name, signature, photograph, image, likeness, voice or a substantially similar imitation of one or more thereof.

"Natural person."  A living person or a deceased person who was domiciled within this Commonwealth at the time of such person's death.

42c8316v

(Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1320, No.154, eff. 60 days)

 

2002 Amendment.  Act 154 added section 8316.

42c8316.1s

§ 8316.1.  Damages in actions for unlawful dissemination of intimate image.

(a)  Cause of action established.--A person may bring a civil cause of action based upon unlawful dissemination of intimate image, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3131 (relating to unlawful dissemination of intimate image), in order to recover damages for any loss or injury sustained as a result of the violation.

(b)  Parties authorized to bring action.--An action may be brought by a natural person or a guardian of the natural person, if the person is incompetent.

(c)  Damages.--A court of competent jurisdiction may award damages as set forth in this subsection. In determining the extent of injury, the court shall consider that dissemination of an intimate image may cause long-term or permanent injury. The court may award:

(1)  Actual damages arising from the incident or $500, whichever is greater. Damages include loss of money, reputation or property, whether real or personal. The court may, in its discretion, award up to three times the actual damages sustained, but not less than $500.

(2)  Reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

(3)  Additional relief the court deems necessary and proper.

(d)  Other remedies preserved.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of a person to receive restitution under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1106 (relating to restitution for injuries to person or property).

(e)  Nonapplicability.--The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to a law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer's official duties.

(f)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "law enforcement officer" means any officer of the United States, of the Commonwealth or political subdivision thereof, or of another state or subdivision thereof, who is empowered to conduct investigations of or to make arrests for offenses enumerated in 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes and offenses), or an equivalent crime in another jurisdiction, and any attorney authorized by law to prosecute or participate in the prosecution of such offense.

42c8316.1v

(July 9, 2014, P.L.1013, No.115, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 115 added section 8316.1.

42c8317s

§ 8317.  Actions involving products or services used to invade privacy.

No person shall have a cause of action against a manufacturer of a device or a provider of a product or service that is used to commit a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 7507.1 (relating to invasion of privacy).

42c8317v

(Nov. 16, 2005, P.L.378, No.69, eff. 60 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 69 added section 8317.

42c8318s

§ 8318.  Terrorism action.

(a)  General rule.--In addition to any other right of action and any other remedy provided by law, an action may be brought to recover damages against a terrorist, terrorist organization or person who knowingly provided material support or resources to or aided a terrorist or terrorist organization for the death of an individual or for an injury to an individual or damage to or loss of property caused by an act of terrorism.

(b)  Application of section.--This section shall not apply to:

(1)  A financial institution as defined by 31 U.S.C. § 5312(a)(2) (relating to definitions and application), including an operating or financial subsidiary, that complies with Federal laws and regulations relating to a financial transaction at the time the transaction occurs, including, to the extent applicable, the International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act of 2001 (Title III of Public Law 107-56, 31 U.S.C. § 5301 et seq.).

(2)  Conduct by a party to a labor dispute as defined in the act of June 2, 1937 (P.L.1198, No.308), known as the Labor Anti-Injunction Act, or to any constitutionally protected activity.

(c)  Recovery.--The plaintiff may seek recovery for any of the following:

(1)  General and special damages, including damages for emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of filial consortium and loss of life's pleasures.

(2)  Punitive damages.

(3)  Reasonable attorney fees and costs.

(4)  Such other relief that the court deems necessary and proper.

(d)  Assets.--In making a recovery under this section, the plaintiff may enforce the judgment against the assets of the terrorist, terrorist organization or person who knowingly provided material support or resources to or aided the terrorist or terrorist organization.

(e)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Act of terrorism."  An act or acts constituting an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. Pt. II (relating to definition of specific offenses), including an attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any such offense, which is punishable by imprisonment of more than one year and involves an act dangerous to human life or property, intended either to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion or affect the conduct of a government.

"Dangerous to human life or property."  A violent act which is intended to or likely to cause death, serious bodily injury or mass destruction.

"Mass destruction."  An act which is intended to or likely to destroy or cause serious damage to transportation-related infrastructure or facilities, energy-related infrastructure or facilities, public or private buildings, places of public accommodation or public works under circumstances evincing depraved indifference to human life or property.

"Material support or resources."  Currency or other financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, safe houses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.

"Terrorist."  A person who commits an act of terrorism.

"Terrorist organization."  A domestic or foreign organization which directly engages in the planning, preparation, carrying out or aiding of an act of terrorism. The term includes any organization designated as a foreign terrorist organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (66 Stat. 163, 8 U.S.C. § 1189) (relating to designation of foreign terrorist organizations).

42c8318v

(Jan. 6, 2006, P.L.11, No.2, eff. imd.)

 

2006 Amendment.  Act 2 added section 8318.

42c8319s

§ 8319.  Ecoterrorism.

(a)  Civil action and relief.--An individual aggrieved by the offense of ecoterrorism as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3311(a) (relating to ecoterrorism) may, in a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction, obtain appropriate relief, including compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable investigative expenses and reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated with the litigation. Upon a showing of cause for the issuance of injunctive relief, a court may issue temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions as may be appropriate under this section. During any period that an action under this section is pending, a court may order the cessation of the activity forming the basis of the complaint.

(b)  Valuations.--In awarding damages under this section, a court shall consider the market value of the property prior to damage and production, research, testing, replacement and development costs directly related to the property that has been damaged as part of the value of the property as well as damage to any records, data and data-gathering equipment or devices.

(c)  Limitations.--Damages recovered under this section shall be limited to triple the market value of the property prior to damage and actual damages involving production, research, testing, replacement and development costs directly related to the property that has been damaged.

42c8319v

(Apr. 14, 2006, P.L.81, No.27, eff. 60 days)

 

2006 Amendment.  Act 27 added section 8319.

Cross References.  Section 8319 is referred to in section 3311 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

42c8320s

§ 8320.  Commemorative service demonstration action.

(a)  Civil action.--In addition to any other right of action and any other remedy provided by law, an individual aggrieved by the offense defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 7517 (relating to commemorative service demonstration activities) may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction to obtain appropriate relief.

(b)  General relief.--In a civil action brought under this section, the aggrieved individual may recover general and special damages, including damages for emotional distress, punitive damages, reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated with the litigation, and such other relief that the court deems necessary and proper.

(c)  Injunctive relief.--Upon a showing of cause for the issuance of injunctive relief, a court may issue temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions as may be appropriate under this section. During any period that an action under this section is pending, a court may order the cessation of the activity forming the basis of the complaint.

42c8320v

(June 30, 2006, P.L.288, No.63, eff. 60 days)

 

2006 Amendment.  Act 63 added section 8320.

42c8321h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B

CONTRIBUTION AMONG TORT-FEASORS

 

Sec.

8321.  Short title of subchapter.

8322.  Definition.

8323.  Scope of subchapter.

8324.  Right of contribution.

8325.  Effect of judgment.

8326.  Effect of release as to other tort-feasors.

8327.  Liability to make contribution as affected by release.

 

Cross References.  Subchapter B is referred to in section 6141 of this title.

42c8321s

§ 8321.  Short title of subchapter.

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Uniform Contribution Among Tort-feasors Act."

42c8322s

§ 8322.  Definition.

As used in this subchapter "joint tort-feasors" means two or more persons jointly or severally liable in tort for the same injury to persons or property, whether or not judgment has been recovered against all or some of them.

42c8323s

§ 8323.  Scope of subchapter.

This subchapter does not impair any right of indemnity under existing law.

42c8324s

§ 8324.  Right of contribution.

(a)  General rule.--The right of contribution exists among joint tort-feasors.

(b)  Payment required.--A joint tort-feasor is not entitled to a money judgment for contribution until he has by payment discharged the common liability or has paid more than his pro rata share thereof.

(c)  Effect of settlement.--A joint tort-feasor who enters into a settlement with the injured person is not entitled to recover contribution from another joint tort-feasor whose liability to the injured person is not extinguished by the settlement.

42c8325s

§ 8325.  Effect of judgment.

The recovery of a judgment by the injured person against one joint tort-feasor does not discharge the other joint tort-feasors.

42c8326s

§ 8326.  Effect of release as to other tort-feasors.

A release by the injured person of one joint tort-feasor, whether before or after judgment, does not discharge the other tort-feasors unless the release so provides, but reduces the claim against the other tort-feasors in the amount of the consideration paid for the release or in any amount or proportion by which the release provides that the total claim shall be reduced if greater than the consideration paid.

42c8327s

§ 8327.  Liability to make contribution as affected by release.

A release by the injured person of one joint tort-feasor does not relieve him from liability to make contribution to another tort-feasor, unless the release is given before the right of the other tort-feasor to secure a money judgment for contribution has accrued and provides for a reduction to the extent of the pro rata share of the released tort-feasor of the injured person's damages recoverable against all the other tort-feasors.

42c8331h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER C

IMMUNITIES GENERALLY

 

Sec.

8331.  Medical good Samaritan civil immunity.

8331.1. Veterinary good Samaritan civil immunity.

8331.2. Good Samaritan civil immunity for use of automated external defibrillator.

8331.3. Criminal victim aid good Samaritan civil immunity.

8332.  Emergency response provider and bystander good Samaritan civil immunity.

8332.1. Manager, coach, umpire or referee and nonprofit association negligence standard.

8332.2. Officer, director or trustee of nonprofit organization negligence standard.

8332.3. Volunteer firefighter civil immunity.

8332.4. Volunteer-in-public-service negligence standard.

8332.5. Corporate representatives.

8332.6. Antidrug and town-watch volunteer civil immunity.

8332.7. Immunity of State parole officers.

8332.8. Immunity of county probation officers.

8333.  Body fluid and tissue limited civil immunity.

8334.  Civil immunity in mass immunization projects.

8335.  Damages for conversion of property of fluctuating value.

8336.  Civil immunity for assistance upon request in incidents involving the transportation of hazardous substances.

8337.  Civil immunity of school officers or employees relating to drug or alcohol abuse.

8337.1. Civil immunity of school officers or employees relating to emergency care, first aid and rescue.

8338.  Liability for damages from donated food and grocery products.

8338.1. Liability for damages from donated vehicles or equipment to volunteer fire companies.

8339.  Agricultural immunity.

8339.1. Railroad civil immunity.

8340.  Immunity of program administrators and supervisors.

8340.1. Employer immunity from liability for disclosure of information regarding former or current employees.

8340.2. Civil immunity for use of force.

8340.3. Rescue from motor vehicle.

42c8331s

§ 8331.  Medical good Samaritan civil immunity.

(a)  General rule.--Any physician or any other practitioner of the healing arts or any registered nurse, licensed by any state, who happens by chance upon the scene of an emergency or who arrives on the scene of an emergency by reason of serving on an emergency call panel or similar committee of a county medical society or who is called to the scene of an emergency by the police or other duly constituted officers of a government unit or who is present when an emergency occurs and who, in good faith, renders emergency care at the scene of the emergency, shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such physician or practitioner or registered nurse in rendering the emergency care, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in harm to the person receiving emergency care.

(b)  Definition.--As used in this section "good faith" shall include, but is not limited to, a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the rendering of care should not be postponed until the patient is hospitalized.

42c8331.1s

§ 8331.1.  Veterinary good Samaritan civil immunity.

(a)  General rule.--Any individual licensed to practice veterinary medicine who, in good faith, renders emergency care to any animal which such individual has discovered at the scene of an accident or emergency situation or which has immediately prior to the rendering of such care been brought to such individual's attention at or from the scene of any accident or emergency situation shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm, or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in harm to the animal.

(b)  Definition.--As used in this section, "good faith" shall include, but is not limited to, a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the rendering of care should not be postponed until the animal is hospitalized.

(c)  Exception.--This section shall not apply where the owner of the animal is in attendance and can be consulted as to the proposed action by the veterinarian.

42c8331.1v

(Dec. 13, 1982, P.L.1141, No.260, eff. imd.)

 

1982 Amendment.  Act 260 added section 8331.1.

42c8331.2s

§ 8331.2.  Good Samaritan civil immunity for use of automated external defibrillator.

(a)  General rule.--Any person who in good faith acquires and maintains an AED or uses an AED in an emergency shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by an individual using the AED, except if acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions result in harm to the individual receiving the AED treatment.

(b)  Requirements.--Any person who acquires and maintains an AED for use in accordance with this section shall:

(1)  Ensure that expected AED users receive training pursuant to subsection (c).

(2)  Maintain and test the AED according to the manufacturer's operational guidelines.

(3)  Provide instruction requiring the user of the AED to utilize available means to immediately contact and activate the emergency medical services system.

(4)  Assure that any appropriate data or information is made available to emergency medical services personnel or other health care providers as requested.

(c)  Training.--For purposes of this section, expected AED users shall complete training in the use of an AED consistent with American Red Cross, American Heart Association or other national standards as identified and approved by the Department of Health in consultation with the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council.

(d)  Obstruction of emergency medical services personnel.--Nothing in this section shall relieve a person who uses an AED from civil damages when that person obstructs or interferes with care and treatment being provided by emergency medical services personnel or a health professional.

(e)  Exception.--(Deleted by amendment).

(f)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Automated external defibrillator" or "AED."  A portable device that uses electric shock to restore a stable heart rhythm to an individual in cardiac arrest.

"Emergency."  A situation where an individual is believed to be in cardiac arrest or is in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious injury.

"Good faith."  Includes a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the use of an AED should not be postponed until emergency medical services personnel arrive or the person is hospitalized.

42c8331.2v

(Dec. 15, 1998, P.L.949, No.126, eff. 60 days; July 5, 2012, P.L.1081, No.125, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 8331.2 is referred to in section 5483 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries).

42c8331.3s

§ 8331.3.  Criminal victim aid good Samaritan civil immunity.

(a)  General rule.--Any person who provides or obtains or attempts to provide or obtain assistance for a victim of a personal injury crime at the scene of the personal injury crime or attempted personal injury crime shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in providing or obtaining or attempting to provide or obtain assistance, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm or any acts or omissions that constitute gross negligence or willful, wanton or reckless conduct.

(b)  Definitions.--The terms "personal injury crime" and "victim" shall have the same meanings given to them in section 103 of the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act.

42c8331.3v

(Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.811, No.113, eff. 60 days; Oct. 31, 2003, P.L.200, No.31, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 8331.3 is referred to in sections 8332.7, 8332.8 of this title.

42c8332s

§ 8332.  Emergency response provider and bystander good Samaritan civil immunity.

(a)  General rule.--Any person, including an emergency response provider, whether or not trained to practice medicine, who in good faith renders emergency care, treatment, first aid or rescue at the scene of an emergency event or crime or who moves the person receiving such care, first aid or rescue to a hospital or other place of medical care shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of rendering such care, except in any act or omission intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in harm to the person receiving emergency care or being moved to a hospital or other place of medical care.

(b)  Exceptions.--(Deleted by amendment).

(c)  Exception.--This section shall not relieve a driver of a vehicle, including an ambulance or other emergency rescue vehicle, from liability arising from an operation or use of such vehicle pursuant to subsection (a).

(d)  Definition.--For the purposes of this section, the term "emergency response provider" includes Federal, State and local emergency public safety, law enforcement, emergency response, emergency medical services personnel, response teams, agencies and authorities, excluding hospital emergency facilities and related personnel.

42c8332v

(July 1, 1978, P.L.697, No.122, eff. 60 days; July 5, 2012, P.L.1081, No.125, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 8332 is referred to in section 5503 of Title 35 (Health and Safety).

42c8332.1s

§ 8332.1.  Manager, coach, umpire or referee and nonprofit association negligence standard.

(a)  General rule.--Except as provided otherwise in this section, no person who, without compensation and as a volunteer, renders services as a manager, coach, instructor, umpire or referee or who, without compensation and as a volunteer, assists a manager, coach, instructor, umpire or referee in a sports program of a nonprofit association, and no nonprofit association, or any officer or employee thereof, conducting or sponsoring a sports program, shall be liable to any person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in rendering such services or in conducting or sponsoring such sports program, unless the conduct of such person or nonprofit association falls substantially below the standards generally practiced and accepted in like circumstances by similar persons or similar nonprofit associations rendering such services or conducting or sponsoring such sports programs, and unless it is shown that such person or nonprofit association did an act or omitted the doing of an act which such person or nonprofit association was under a recognized duty to another to do, knowing or having reason to know that such act or omission created a substantial risk of actual harm to the person or property of another. It shall be insufficient to impose liability to establish only that the conduct of such person or nonprofit association fell below ordinary standards of care.

(b)  Exceptions.--

(1)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying the liability of such person or nonprofit association for any of the following:

(i)  Acts or omissions relating to the transportation of participants in a sports program or others to or from a game, event or practice.

(ii)  Acts or omissions relating to the care and maintenance of real estate unrelated to the practice or playing areas which such persons or nonprofit associations own, possess or control.

(2)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying any existing legal basis for determining the liability, or any defense thereto, of any person not covered by the standard of negligence established by this section.

(c)  Assumption of risk or contributory fault.--Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying the doctrine of assumption of risk or contributory fault on the part of the participant.

(d)  Definitions.--As used in this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Compensation."  The term shall not include reimbursement for reasonable expenses actually incurred or to be incurred or, solely in the case of umpires or referees, a modest honorarium.

"Nonprofit association."  An entity which is organized as a nonprofit corporation or nonprofit unincorporated association under the laws of this Commonwealth or the United States or any entity which is authorized to do business in this Commonwealth as a nonprofit corporation or unincorporated association under the laws of this Commonwealth, including, but not limited to, youth or athletic associations, volunteer fire, ambulance, religious, charitable, fraternal, veterans, civic, county fair or agricultural associations, or any separately chartered auxiliary of the foregoing, if organized and operated on a nonprofit basis.

"Sports program."  Baseball (including softball), football, basketball, soccer and any other competitive sport formally recognized as a sport by the United States Olympic Committee as specified by and under the jurisdiction of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-606, 36 U.S.C. § 371 et seq.), the Amateur Athletic Union or the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The term shall be limited to a program or that portion of a program that is organized for recreational purposes and whose activities are substantially for such purposes and which is primarily for participants who are 18 years of age or younger or whose 19th birthday occurs during the year of participation or the competitive season, whichever is longer. There shall, however, be no age limitation for programs operated for the physically handicapped or mentally retarded.

42c8332.1v

(May 12, 1986, P.L.183, No.57, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 57 added section 8332.1.

Cross References.  Section 8332.1 is referred to in section 3124.3 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

42c8332.2s

§ 8332.2.  Officer, director or trustee of nonprofit organization negligence standard.

(a)  General rule.--Except as provided otherwise in this section, no person who serves without compensation, other than reimbursement for actual expenses, as an officer, director or trustee of any nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (68A Stat. 3, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)) shall be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions relating solely to the performance of his duties as an officer, director or trustee, unless the conduct of the person falls substantially below the standards generally practiced and accepted in like circumstances by similar persons performing the same or similar duties, and unless it is shown that the person did an act or omitted the doing of an act which the person was under a recognized duty to another to do, knowing or having reason to know that the act or omission created a substantial risk of actual harm to the person or property of another. It shall be insufficient to impose liability to establish only that the conduct of the person fell below ordinary standards of care.

(b)  Exception.--Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying any existing legal basis for determining the liability, or any defense thereto, of any nonprofit association.

42c8332.2v

(May 12, 1986, P.L.183, No.57, eff. imd.)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 57 added section 8332.2.

42c8332.3s

§ 8332.3.  Volunteer firefighter civil immunity.

Volunteer firefighters shall be treated as public employees as defined in section 8501 (relating to definitions). This section shall not be construed to reduce or eliminate any other immunity provided to volunteer firefighters by law.

42c8332.3v

(Dec. 15, 1986, P.L.1598, No.177, eff. 60 days)

 

1986 Amendment.  Act 177 added section 8332.3.

42c8332.4s

§ 8332.4.  Volunteer-in-public-service negligence standard.

(a)  Services covered.--

(1)  Except as provided otherwise in this section, no person who, without compensation and as a volunteer, renders public services for a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3), (4) or (6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (68A Stat. 3, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3), (4) or (6)) or for a Commonwealth or local government agency conducting or sponsoring a public service program or project shall be liable to any person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in rendering such services unless the conduct of such person falls substantially below the standards generally practiced and accepted in like circumstances by similar persons rendering such services and unless it is shown that such person did an act or omitted the doing of an act which such person was under a recognized duty to another to do, knowing or having reason to know that such act or omission created a substantial risk of actual harm to the person or property of another. It shall be insufficient to impose liability to establish only that the conduct of such person fell below ordinary standards of care.

(2)  Except as provided otherwise in this section, no design professional who, without compensation and as a volunteer, provides professional services related to a declared national, State or local emergency caused by a major earthquake, hurricane, tornado, explosion, collapse or other similar disaster or catastrophic event at the request of or with the approval of a Federal, State or local public official, law enforcement official, public safety official or building inspection official acting in an official capacity shall be liable to any person for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions in rendering such services unless the conduct of such design professional falls substantially below the standards generally practiced and accepted in like circumstances by similar persons rendering such professional services and unless it is shown that such design professional did an act or omitted the doing of an act which such design professional was under a recognized duty to another to do, knowing or having reason to know that such act or omission created a substantial risk of actual harm to the person or property of another. It shall be insufficient to impose liability to establish only that the conduct of such design professional fell below ordinary standards of care.

(b)  Exceptions.--

(1)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying the liability of such person for acts or omissions relating to the transportation of participants in a public service program or project or others to or from a public service program or project.

(2)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying any existing legal basis for determining the liability, or any defense thereto, of any person not covered by the standard of negligence established by this section.

(c)  Assumption of risk or contributory fault.--Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or modifying the doctrine of assumption of risk or contributory fault on the part of the participant.

(d)  Construction.--The negligence standard created by this section shall not be deemed to abrogate or lessen any immunity or other protection against liability granted by statute or court decision.

(e)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Compensation."  The term shall not include reimbursement for reasonable expenses actually incurred or to be incurred.

"Design professional."  An individual licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an architect, geologist, land surveyor, landscape architect or professional engineer.

"Public service program or project."  An organized program, or other public service ordinarily conducted or rendered by volunteers.

42c8332.4v

(Dec. 21, 1988, P.L.1862, No.179, eff. 60 days; Oct. 30, 2001, P.L.824, No.81, eff. 60 days)

 

2001 Amendment.  Act 81 amended subsecs. (a) and (e).

1988 Amendment.  Act 179 added section 8332.4.

Cross References.  Section 8332.4 is referred to in section 327 of Title 30 (Fish).

42c8332.5s

§ 8332.5.  Corporate representatives.

(a)  General rule.--The liability of an individual shall be limited to the extent expressly provided by or pursuant to Title 15 (relating to corporations and unincorporated associations). See 15 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. B (relating to fiduciary duty and indemnification), Ch. 17 Subch. B (relating to fiduciary duty) and Ch. 57 Subch. B (relating to fiduciary duty).

(b)  Certain governmental corporations.--An individual who is a director, officer or employee of a governmental corporation and who is not entitled to immunity under Chapter 85 (relating to matters affecting government units) may assert any applicable immunity under 15 Pa.C.S. Ch. 57 Subch. B to the same extent as if the governmental corporation were a nonprofit corporation which had elected the maximum immunity available under such subchapter.

42c8332.5v

(Dec. 19, 1990, P.L.834, No.198, eff. imd.)

 

1990 Amendment.  Act 198 added section 8332.5.

Cross References.  Section 8332.5 is referred to in sections 513, 1713, 5713 of Title 15 (Corporations and Unincorporated Associations).

42c8332.6s

§ 8332.6.  Antidrug and town-watch volunteer civil immunity.

(a)  General rule.--An antidrug or town-watch volunteer who acts in good faith and within the scope of the volunteer's role with an antidrug or crime prevention volunteer organization or government agency shall be immune from civil liability for damage caused by acts or omissions unless all of the following apply:

(1)  The conduct of the volunteer falls substantially below the standards generally practiced and accepted in like circumstances by similar persons rendering such services.

(2)  It is shown that the volunteer performed an act or failed to perform an act which the volunteer was under a recognized duty to another to perform, knowing or having reason to know that such act or omission created a substantial risk or actual harm to the person or property of another. It is insufficient to impose liability under this paragraph to establish only that the conduct of the volunteer fell below ordinary standards of care.

(b)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Antidrug or town-watch volunteer."  A person performing services for an antidrug or town-watch volunteer organization or government agency without compensation other than reimbursement for actual expenses incurred. The term includes a volunteer serving as a director, officer, trustee or direct service volunteer.

"Antidrug or town-watch volunteer organization."  A nonprofit organization, corporate volunteer program, medical facility or substance abuse treatment program that uses volunteers to reduce crime and drug use in the community.

"Corporate volunteer program."  A program administered by an entity other than a nonprofit organization or government agency that enlists primarily its own employees, retirees, partners or professional affiliates in a volunteer capacity to achieve objectives that would qualify as charitable under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)).

"Nonprofit organization."  An organization which is described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)), whether or not it has been certified by the Internal Revenue Service.

42c8332.6v

(June 25, 2001, P.L.697, No.66, eff. 60 days)

 

2001 Amendment.  Act 66 added section 8332.6. See the preamble to Act 66 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative findings and declarations.

42c8332.7s

§ 8332.7.  Immunity of State parole officers.

(a)  Assistance of law enforcement personnel.--In addition to the provisions of section 27 of the act of August 6, 1941 (P.L.861, No.323), referred to as the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole Law, or any other law, any parole officer appointed by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole who, after obtaining permission in advance from a person authorized by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, assists Federal, State or local law enforcement officers or agents or county probation officers in the lawful performance of their duties shall be considered to be acting within the scope of his official duty for all purposes of law and shall enjoy any benefit or immunity conferred upon an employee of the Commonwealth.

(b)  Assistance of criminal victims.--In addition to any other immunity provided by law, any parole officer appointed by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole who is entitled to immunity under section 8331.3 (relating to criminal victim aid good Samaritan civil immunity) as a result of providing assistance to a victim of a crime shall be considered to be acting within the scope of his official duty while providing assistance to the victim for all purposes of law and shall enjoy any benefit or immunity conferred upon an employee of the Commonwealth.

42c8332.7v

(Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1705, No.215, eff. 60 days; Dec. 30, 2003, P.L.432, No.61, eff. 60 days)

 

References in Text.  Section 27 of the act of August 6, 1941, P.L.861, No.323, referred to as the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole Law, referred to in subsec. (a), was repealed by the act of August 11, 2009, P.L.494, No.49. The subject matter is now contained in Part IV of Title 61 (Prisons and Parole).

42c8332.8s

§ 8332.8.  Immunity of county probation officers.

(a)  Assistance of law enforcement personnel.--In addition to the provisions of section 1 of the act of August 6, 1963 (P.L.521, No.277), entitled "An act providing that probation officers shall have the power of peace officers in the performance of their duties," or any other law, any probation officer appointed by any court of record of this Commonwealth who, after obtaining permission in advance from a person authorized by the appointing court, assists Federal, State or local law enforcement officers or agents, State parole agents or county probation officers in the lawful performance of their duties shall be considered to be acting within the scope of his official duty for all purposes of law and shall enjoy any benefit or immunity conferred upon an employee of that county.

(b)  Assistance of criminal victims.--In addition to any other immunity provided by law, any probation officer appointed by any court of record of this Commonwealth who is entitled to immunity under section 8331.3 (relating to criminal victim aid good Samaritan civil immunity) as a result of providing assistance to a victim of a crime shall be considered to be acting within the scope of his official duty while providing assistance to the victim for all purposes of law and shall enjoy any benefit or immunity conferred upon an employee of that county.

42c8332.8v

(Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1705, No.215, eff. 60 days; Dec. 30, 2003, P.L.432, No.61, eff. 60 days)

 

References in Text.  Section 1 of the act of August 6, 1963, P.L.521, No.277, referred to in subsec. (a), was repealed by the act of August 11, 2009, P.L.147, No.33. The subject matter is now contained in Part IV of Title 61 (Prisons and Parole).

 

42c8333s

§ 8333.  Body fluid and tissue limited civil immunity.

(a)  General rule.--No person shall be held liable for death, disease or injury resulting from the lawful transfusion of blood, blood components or plasma derivatives, or from the lawful transplantation or insertion of tissue, bone or organs, except upon a showing of negligence on the part of such person. Specifically excluded hereunder is any liability by reason of any rule of strict liability or implied warranty or any other warranty not expressly undertaken by the party to be charged.

(b)  Definition.--As used in this section the term "negligence" shall include but not be limited to any failure to observe accepted standards in the collection, testing, processing, handling, storage, transportation, classification, labelling, transfusion, injection, transplantation or other preparation or use of any such blood, blood components, plasma derivatives, tissue, bone or organs.

42c8334s

§ 8334.  Civil immunity in mass immunization projects.

(a)  General rule.--Any physician who does not receive remuneration for his services in a mass immunization project approved in writing by the Department of Health or its designee under the provisions of the act of September 19, 1974 (P.L.644, No.210), and any registered nurse, or practical nurse licensed to practice in this Commonwealth who shall participate in such project and any State, county or local medical society, medical or health facility, agency or clinic approved by the department shall not be liable, except for gross negligence, to any person for illness, reaction, or adverse effect arising from or out of the use of any drug or vaccine in such project by such physician or such nurse. Neither the department nor its designee shall approve any such project unless the department or its designee finds that the project conforms to good medical and public health practice.

(b)  Exception.--This section shall not exempt any drug manufacturer from any liability for any drug or vaccine used in such project.

42c8334v

(Apr. 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, eff. 60 days)

 

References in Text.  The act of September 19, 1974, P.L.644, No.210, referred to in subsection (a), was repealed by the act of April 28, 1978, P.L.202, No.53, known as the Judiciary Act Repealer Act.

42c8335s

§ 8335.  Damages for conversion of property of fluctuating value.

Damages for the conversion of stocks, bonds, or other like property of fluctuating value shall be limited to the difference between the proceeds of the conversion, or that portion thereof duly paid or credited to the owner, and such higher value as the property may have reached within a reasonable time after he had notice of the conversion. Where the facts are not in dispute, such period shall be fixed by the court as a matter of law.

42c8336s

§ 8336.  Civil immunity for assistance upon request in incidents involving the transportation of hazardous substances.

(a)  General rule.--During the course of transportation, including the loading and unloading thereof, of hazardous substances, no person shall be liable in civil damages when his conduct consists solely of action or inaction taken or omitted in the course of rendering care, assistance or advice, voluntarily and upon request of any police agency, fire department, rescue or emergency squad, any other governmental agency, the person responsible for preventing, mitigating or cleaning up the danger to person, property or environment or the owner or manufacturer of the hazardous substance involved, with respect to an incident creating a danger to person, property or environment as a result of spillage, leakage, seepage, fire, explosion or other accidental or potential accidental release of hazardous substances.

(b)  Exclusions.--The immunities provided in this section shall not apply to any person who:

(1)  is under a legal duty to respond to the incident;

(2)  received remuneration beyond reimbursement for out of pocket expenses for services in rendering such care, assistance or advice in connection therewith or had the expectation of receiving such remuneration from the recipient of such care, assistance or advice or from someone acting on his behalf; or

(3)  does not personally possess or does not provide personnel who possess the skill, training or knowledge with regard to the safe handling of hazardous substances, their effects and incidents involving the transportation of hazardous substances in order to render the care, assistance or advice requested.

(c)  Persons not affected.--This section shall not be construed to affect any immunity otherwise granted by statute to any police agency, fire department, rescue or emergency squad or any other governmental agency.

(d)  Gross negligence or willful misconduct.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or otherwise affect or preclude the liability of any person resulting from such person's gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Reckless, willful or wanton misconduct shall constitute gross negligence.

(e)  Definitions.--As used in this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Hazardous substances."  All substances which are defined as hazardous in the act of November 9, 1965 (P.L.657, No.323), known as the "Hazardous Substances Transportation Act," or any subsequent amendment thereto.

"Person."  Any individual, partnership, corporation, association or other entity.

42c8336v

(Dec. 1, 1982, P.L.767, No.220, eff. 60 days)

 

1982 Amendment.  Act 220 added section 8336.

References in Text.  The act of November 9, 1965, P.L.657, No.323, known as the Hazardous Substances Transportation Act, referred to in subsec. (e), was repealed by the act of June 30, 1984, P.L.473, No.99. The subject matter is now contained in Chapter 83 of Title 75 (Vehicles).

42c8337s

§ 8337.  Civil immunity of school officers or employees relating to drug or alcohol abuse.

(a)  General rule.--Any officer or employee of a school who, in the scope of official duty, reports drug or alcohol abuse involving a student to another officer or employee of the school, to a parent, legal guardian or spouse of the student or who refers a student for treatment or counseling or for disciplinary action by school authorities relating to drug or alcohol abuse shall not be liable to the student or the parents, legal guardian or spouse of the student for civil damages as a result of any negligent statements, acts or omissions undertaken in good faith for the purposes set forth in this section. This subsection shall also apply to school authorities who have been designated to handle disciplinary cases for negligent statements, acts or omissions undertaken in good faith in reporting a student for drug or alcohol abuse to a law enforcement officer in accordance with school policy or procedures and based upon a reasonable belief that a crime has been, is being or will be committed. This subsection does not apply to any statement, acts or omissions which are intentionally designed to harm or which are grossly negligent and result in harm to the student.

(b)  Definitions.--As used in this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Drug and alcohol abuse."  The unauthorized use, possession or distribution of:

(1)  Alcohol, as defined in the act of April 12, 1951 (P.L.90, No.21), known as the Liquor Code.

(2)  Any controlled substance, drug, drug paraphernalia or counterfeit drug as defined in the act of September 27, 1961 (P.L.1700, No.699), known as the Pharmacy Act, or the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.

The term includes any act prohibited under section 8 of the Pharmacy Act or section 13(a)(15) or (16) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.

"Officer or employee of a school."  A school director, principal, superintendent, teacher, guidance counselor, support staff member or other educational or medical employee employed in a day or residential school which provides preschool, kindergarten, elementary or secondary education in this Commonwealth, at either a public or nonpublic school.

(c)  Political subdivision tort claims.--This section shall not reduce or impair the protections afforded by Subchapter C of Chapter 85 (relating to actions against local parties).

42c8337v

(May 30, 1984, P.L.337, No.67, eff. 30 days)

 

1984 Amendment.  Act 67 added section 8337.

42c8337.1s

§ 8337.1.  Civil immunity of school officers or employees relating to emergency care, first aid and rescue.

(a)  General rule.--An officer or employee of a school who in good faith believes that a student needs emergency care, first aid or rescue and who provides such emergency care, first aid or rescue to the student or who removes the student receiving such emergency care, first aid or rescue to a hospital or other place of medical care shall be immune from civil liability as a result of any acts or omissions by the officer or employee, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to seriously harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in serious bodily harm to the student receiving emergency care.

(b)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Good faith."  Includes, but is not limited to, a reasonable nonmedical opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the rendering of care should not be postponed.

"Officer or employee of a school."  A school director, principal, superintendent, teacher, guidance counselor, support staff member or other educational or medical employee employed in a day or residential school which provides preschool, kindergarten, elementary or secondary education in this Commonwealth at either a public or nonpublic school.

42c8337.1v

(Nov. 22, 2000, P.L.690, No.93, eff. 60 days)

 

2000 Amendment.  Act 93 added section 8337.1.

42c8338s

§ 8338.  Liability for damages from donated food and grocery products.

(a)  General rule.--A person is not subject to civil or criminal liability arising from the nature, age, packaging or condition of apparently wholesome food or of grocery products apparently fit for household consumption or use that the person donated in good faith to a nonprofit organization for ultimate free distribution to needy individuals. This section does not apply to an injury or death of the ultimate users or recipients of the food or grocery products that results from an act or omission of the donor constituting gross negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct.

(b)  Recklessness, gross negligence or intentional misconduct.--A person who permits gleaning on property owned or occupied by him is not subject to civil or criminal liability that arises due to the injury or death of any individual involved in the collection or gleaning of donations, unless the injury or death results from an act or omission of said person constituting gross negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct.

(c)  Nonliability.--This section does not create any liability.

(d)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Donate."  To give or distribute without requiring anything of monetary value from the ultimate recipient. For purposes of this section, a nonprofit organization may donate to another nonprofit organization, notwithstanding that the donor organization has charged a processing fee to the donee organization, provided the ultimate recipient or user is not required to give anything of monetary value.

"Glean."  To harvest for ultimate free distribution to needy individuals an agricultural crop that has been donated by any person.

"Grocery products."  Any nonfood grocery products, including, but not limited to, disposable paper and plastic products, household cleaning products, bottled water, laundry detergents and cleaning products and miscellaneous household items.

"Nonprofit organization."  An incorporated or unincorporated organization that has been incorporated or established and is operating for religious, charitable or education purposes and that does not distribute any of its income to its members, directors or officers.

"Person."  Any individual, corporation, partnership, organization, association or government entity, including, but not limited to, retail grocers, wholesalers, manufacturers, restaurants, caterers, farmers, nonprofit food distributors and hospitals. In the case of a corporation, partnership, organization, association or governmental entity, the term also includes, but is not limited to, the officers, directors, partners, deacons, trustees, council members or other elected or appointed individuals responsible for the governance of such entity.

42c8338v

(Apr. 5, 1990, P.L.113, No.27, eff. 60 days)

 

1990 Amendment.  Act 27 added section 8338.

42c8338.1s

§ 8338.1.  Liability for damages from donated vehicles or equipment to volunteer fire companies.

(a)  General rule.--A person is not subject to civil liability arising from the nature or condition of vehicles or equipment which were reasonably believed to be in good condition, donated in good faith to a volunteer fire company and for which all known defects were disclosed by the person to the volunteer fire company. Any person donating vehicles or equipment shall reveal all known defects to the donee. This section does not apply to an injury or death to any person that results from an act or omission of the donor constituting gross negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct.

(b)  Nonliability.--This section shall not be construed as establishing any liability.

(c)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Donate."  To give or distribute without requiring anything of monetary value from the ultimate recipient. For purposes of this section, a volunteer fire company may donate to another volunteer fire company, notwithstanding that the donor has charged a processing fee to the donee, provided the ultimate recipient or user is not required to give anything of monetary value.

"Person."  An individual, corporation, partnership, organization, association or government entity. In the case of a corporation, partnership, organization, association or governmental entity, the term also includes, but is not limited to, an officer, director, partner, deacon, trustee, council member or other elected or appointed individual responsible for the governance of such entity.

"Volunteer ambulance service."  Any nonprofit chartered corporation, association or organization which is located in this Commonwealth and which is regularly engaged in the service of providing emergency medical care and transportation of patients.

"Volunteer fire company."  Any nonprofit chartered corporation, association or organization which is located in this Commonwealth and which provides fire protection services and other voluntary emergency services within this Commonwealth. Voluntary emergency services provided by a volunteer fire company may include voluntary ambulance and voluntary rescue services.

"Volunteer rescue service."  Any nonprofit chartered corporation, association or organization which is located in this Commonwealth and which provides rescue services in this Commonwealth.

42c8338.1v

(Dec. 1, 2004, P.L.1747, No.225, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 225 added section 8338.1.

42c8339s

§ 8339.  Agricultural immunity.

(a)  General rule.--No cause of action shall arise against the owner, tenant or lessee of land or premises for injuries to any person, other than an employee or contractor of the owner, tenant or lessee, who is on the land or premises for the purpose of picking and purchasing agricultural or farm products at a farm or "u-pick" operation, unless the person's injuries were caused by a condition which involved an unreasonable risk of harm and all of the following apply:

(1)  The owner, tenant or lessee knew or had reason to know of the condition or risk.

(2)  The owner, tenant or lessee failed to exercise reasonable care to make the condition safe or to warn the person of the condition or risk.

(b)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the term "agricultural or farm products" means the natural products of the farm, nursery, grove, orchard, vineyard, garden and apiary, including, but not limited to, trees and firewood.

42c8339v

(July 11, 1990, P.L.464, No.112, eff. imd.)

 

1990 Amendment.  Act 112 added section 8339.

42c8339.1s

§ 8339.1.  Railroad civil immunity.

(a)  General rule.--A railroad carrier owes no duty of care to keep its railroad property safe for entry or use by any trespasser who enters upon any railroad property or railroad right-of-way or to give any warning to such trespasser entering or going on that railroad property of a dangerous condition, use or activity thereon. Except as set forth in subsection (b), a railroad carrier shall not:

(1)  Be presumed to extend any assurance to a trespasser entering or going on railroad property without the railroad carrier's consent that the railroad property is safe for any purpose.

(2)  Incur any duty of care toward a trespasser entering or going on railroad property without the railroad carrier's consent.

(3)  Become liable for any injury to a trespasser entering or going on railroad property without the railroad carrier's consent caused by an act or omission of such trespasser.

(b)  Limitation.--Nothing in this section limits in any way any liability which otherwise exists for willful or wanton failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use or activity.

(c)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"Trespasser."  A person who enters onto railroad property without any right, lawful authority or the express consent of the railroad.

42c8339.1v

(July 15, 2004, P.L.691, No.74, eff. 60 days)

 

2004 Amendment.  Act 74 added section 8339.1.

42c8340s

§ 8340.  Immunity of program administrators and supervisors.

Any probation officer or agent of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and any public service or charitable agency or organization or political subdivision, or any official or employee thereof, supervising or administering any restitution or community service program approved by the court of common pleas or the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole shall be immune from any civil action for damages brought by or on behalf of any person involved in the program or damages caused by any person involved in the program. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or otherwise affect or preclude liability resulting from gross negligence or intentional misconduct or reckless misconduct.

42c8340v

(Feb. 12, 1992, P.L.1, No.1, eff. imd.)

 

1992 Amendment.  Act 1 added section 8340.

42c8340.1s

§ 8340.1.  Employer immunity from liability for disclosure of information regarding former or current employees.

(a)  General rule.--An employer who discloses information about a current or former employee's job performance to a prospective employer of the current or former employee, upon request of the prospective employer or the current or former employee, is presumed to be acting in good faith and, unless lack of good faith is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence, is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences in any case brought against the employer by the current or former employee. The presumption of good faith may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence establishing that the employer disclosed information that:

(1)  the employer knew was false or in the exercise of due diligence should have known was false;

(2)  the employer knew was materially misleading;

(3)  was false and rendered with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity of the information; or

(4)  was information the disclosure of which is prohibited by any contract, civil, common law or statutory right of the current or former employee.

(b)  Effect upon immunity.--This section shall not be construed to affect immunities from civil liability or defenses established by law or available at common law to which an employer may be entitled.

(c)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "employer" means a business enterprise of whatever form, a public or nonprofit entity or any person acting on behalf of the business enterprise or public or nonprofit entity.

42c8340.1v

(June 15, 2005, P.L.6, No.3, eff. 60 days)

 

2005 Amendment.  Act 3 added section 8340.1.

42c8340.2s

§ 8340.2.  Civil immunity for use of force.

(a)  General rule.--An actor who uses force:

(1)  in self-protection as provided in 18 Pa.C.S. § 505 (relating to use of force in self-protection);

(2)  in the protection of other persons as provided in 18 Pa.C.S. § 506 (relating to use of force for the protection of other persons);

(3)  for the protection of property as provided in 18 Pa.C.S. § 507 (relating to use of force for the protection of property);

(4)  in law enforcement as provided in 18 Pa.C.S. § 508 (relating to use of force in law enforcement); or

(5)  consistent with the actor's special responsibility for care, discipline or safety of others as provided in 18 Pa.C.S. § 509 (relating to use of force by persons with special responsibility for care, discipline or safety of others)

is justified in using such force and shall be immune from civil liability for personal injuries sustained by a perpetrator which were caused by the acts or omissions of the actor as a result of the use of force.

(b)  Attorney fees and costs.--If the actor who satisfies the requirements of subsection (a) prevails in a civil action initiated by or on behalf of a perpetrator against the actor, the court shall award reasonable expenses to the actor. Reasonable expenses shall include, but not be limited to, attorney fees, expert witness fees, court costs and compensation for loss of income.

(c)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "perpetrator" shall mean a person against whom an actor is justified in using force as provided by 18 Pa.C.S. § 505, 506, 507, 508 or 509.

42c8340.2v

(June 28, 2011, P.L.48, No.10, eff. 60 days)

 

2011 Amendment.  Act 10 added section 8340.2. See the preamble to Act 10 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to legislative findings.

42c8340.3s

§ 8340.3.  Rescue from motor vehicle.

(a)  Rescue of individual.--No person shall be liable for damage to a motor vehicle or the contents thereof caused by entry into the motor vehicle for the purpose of removing an individual from the motor vehicle, if the person:

(1)  Has a good faith, reasonable belief that the individual is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the motor vehicle.

(2)  Determines that the individual is unable to exit the motor vehicle without assistance.

(3)  Makes a reasonable effort to locate the driver of the motor vehicle and to contact law enforcement, a fire department or other emergency responder prior to entry. If the driver is not located and such contact is not possible prior to entering the motor vehicle, the person shall contact law enforcement, a fire department or other emergency responder as soon as reasonably possible after entering the motor vehicle.

(4)  Uses no more force than necessary under the circumstances to enter the motor vehicle.

(5)  Makes a good faith effort to leave notice on or in the motor vehicle stating the reason the entry was made, the location of the individual who was removed from the motor vehicle and, if possible, identifying the police or fire department or other emergency responder that is expected to respond.

(6)  Remains with the individual in a safe location until law enforcement or emergency responders arrive.

(b)  Rescue of dog or cat.--No law enforcement officer, animal control officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder, or the employer of a law enforcement officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder, shall be liable for damage to a motor vehicle or the contents thereof caused by entry into the motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a dog or cat, if the law enforcement officer, humane society police officer or emergency responder does all of the following:

(1)  Has a good-faith, reasonable belief that the dog or cat is in imminent danger of suffering harm if not immediately removed from the motor vehicle.

(2)  Makes a reasonable effort to locate the driver of the motor vehicle prior to entry.

(3)  Takes reasonable steps to ensure or restore the well-being of the dog or cat.

(4)  Uses no more force than necessary under the circumstances to enter the motor vehicle.

(5)  Leaves notice on or in the motor vehicle stating the reason entry was made, the name of the person and of the person's employer, a telephone number and, if possible, the location where the dog or cat may be retrieved.

(c)  Limitation.--A person shall not be immune from civil liability for damage resulting from the entry if the person's actions constitute gross negligence, recklessness or willful or wanton misconduct.

42c8340.3v

(Oct. 24, 2018, P.L.685, No.104, eff. 60 days; May 15, 2019, P.L.27, No.5, eff. 60 days)

42c8341h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER D

DEFAMATION

 

Sec.

8341.  Single publication limitation.

8342.  Justification a defense.

8343.  Burden of proof.

8344.  Malice or negligence necessary to support award of damages.

8345.  No liability when without power of censorship.

42c8341s

§ 8341.  Single publication limitation.

(a)  Short title of section.--This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Uniform Single Publication Act."

(b)  General rule.--No person shall have more than one cause of action for damages for libel or slander, or invasion of privacy, or any other tort founded upon any single publication, or exhibition, or utterance, such as any one edition of a newspaper, or book, or magazine, or any one presentation to an audience, or any one broadcast over radio or television, or any one exhibition of a motion picture. Recovery in any action shall include all damages for any such tort suffered by the plaintiff in all jurisdictions.

(c)  Bar by judgment.--A judgment in any jurisdiction for or against the plaintiff upon the substantive merits of any action for damages founded upon a single publication, or exhibition, or utterance, as described in subsection (b), shall bar any other action for damages by the same plaintiff against the same defendant founded upon the same publication, or exhibition, or utterance.

42c8342s

§ 8342.  Justification a defense.

In all civil actions for libel, the plea of justification shall be accepted as an adequate and complete defense, when it is pleaded, and proved to the satisfaction of the jury, under the direction of the court as in other cases, that the publication is substantially true and is proper for public information or investigation, and has not been maliciously or negligently made.

42c8343s

§ 8343.  Burden of proof.

(a)  Burden of plaintiff.--In an action for defamation, the plaintiff has the burden of proving, when the issue is properly raised:

(1)  The defamatory character of the communication.

(2)  Its publication by the defendant.

(3)  Its application to the plaintiff.

(4)  The understanding by the recipient of its defamatory meaning.

(5)  The understanding by the recipient of it as intended to be applied to the plaintiff.

(6)  Special harm resulting to the plaintiff from its publication.

(7)  Abuse of a conditionally privileged occasion.

(b)  Burden of defendant.--In an action for defamation, the defendant has the burden of proving, when the issue is properly raised:

(1)  The truth of the defamatory communication.

(2)  The privileged character of the occasion on which it was published.

(3)  The character of the subject matter of defamatory comment as of public concern.

42c8344s

§ 8344.  Malice or negligence necessary to support award of damages.

In all civil actions for libel, no damages shall be recovered unless it is established to the satisfaction of the jury, under the direction of the court as in other cases, that the publication has been maliciously or negligently made, but where malice or negligence appears such damages may be awarded as the jury shall deem proper.

42c8345s

§ 8345.  No liability when without power of censorship.

Liability shall be denied and no recovery shall be allowed against the owners, licensees and operators of any visual or sound radio and television station or network of stations or against the agents, servants or employees of such owner, licensee or operator, for the publication, utterance or broadcasting of any defamatory matter, where the publication, utterance or broadcasting thereof is not subject to their censorship or control by reason of any Federal statute or any regulation, ruling or order of the Federal Communications Commission.

42c8351h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER E

WRONGFUL USE OF CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

 

Sec.

8351.  Wrongful use of civil proceedings.

8352.  Existence of probable cause.

8353.  Damages.

8354.  Burden of proof.

8355.  Certification of pleadings, motions and other papers.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter E was added December 19, 1980, P.L.1296, No.232, effective in 60 days.

Applicability.  Section 2 of Act 232 of 1980 provided that Subchapter E shall be applicable to causes of action accruing after the effective date of Act 232.

Cross References.  Subchapter E is referred to in section 62A20 of this title; section 6122 of Title 23 (Domestic Relations).

42c8351s

§ 8351.  Wrongful use of civil proceedings.

(a)  Elements of action.--A person who takes part in the procurement, initiation or continuation of civil proceedings against another is subject to liability to the other for wrongful use of civil proceedings:

(1)  he acts in a grossly negligent manner or without probable cause and primarily for a purpose other than that of securing the proper discovery, joinder of parties or adjudication of the claim in which the proceedings are based; and

(2)  the proceedings have terminated in favor of the person against whom they are brought.

(b)  Arrest or seizure of person or property not required.--The arrest or seizure of the person or property of the plaintiff shall not be a necessary element for an action brought pursuant to this subchapter.

42c8351v

 

Cross References.  Section 8351 is referred to in section 8353 of this title.

42c8352s

§ 8352.  Existence of probable cause.

A person who takes part in the procurement, initiation or continuation of civil proceedings against another has probable cause for doing so if he reasonably believes in the existence of the facts upon which the claim is based, and either:

(1)  reasonably believes that under those facts the claim may be valid under the existing or developing law;

(2)  believes to this effect in reliance upon the advice of counsel, sought in good faith and given after full disclosure of all relevant facts within his knowledge and information; or

(3)  believes as an attorney of record, in good faith that his procurement, initiation or continuation of a civil cause is not intended to merely harass or maliciously injure the opposite party.

42c8353s

§ 8353.  Damages.

When the essential elements of an action brought pursuant to this subchapter have been established as provided in section 8351 (relating to wrongful use of civil proceedings), the plaintiff is entitled to recover for the following:

(1)  The harm normally resulting from any arrest or imprisonment, or any dispossession or interference with the advantageous use of his land, chattels or other things, suffered by him during the course of the proceedings.

(2)  The harm to his reputation by any defamatory matter alleged as the basis of the proceedings.

(3)  The expense, including any reasonable attorney fees, that he has reasonably incurred in defending himself against the proceedings.

(4)  Any specific pecuniary loss that has resulted from the proceedings.

(5)  Any emotional distress that is caused by the proceedings.

(6)  Punitive damages according to law in appropriate cases.

42c8353v

 

Cross References.  Section 8353 is referred to in section 8354 of this title.

42c8354s

§ 8354.  Burden of proof.

In an action brought pursuant to this subchapter the plaintiff has the burden of proving, when the issue is properly raised, that:

(1)  The defendant has procured, initiated or continued the civil proceedings against him.

(2)  The proceedings were terminated in his favor.

(3)  The defendant did not have probable cause for his action.

(4)  The primary purpose for which the proceedings were brought was not that of securing the proper discovery, joinder of parties or adjudication of the claim on which the proceedings were based.

(5)  The plaintiff has suffered damages as set forth in section 8353 (relating to damages).

42c8355s

§ 8355.  Certification of pleadings, motions and other papers.

Every pleading, motion and other paper of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in his individual name and his address shall be stated. A party who is not represented by an attorney shall sign his pleading, motion or other paper and state his address. Except when otherwise specifically provided by rule or statute, pleadings need not be verified or accompanied by affidavit. The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certification by him that he has read the pleading, motion or other paper; that, to the best of his knowledge, information and belief, it is well-grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good-faith argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law; and that it is not interposed in bad faith or for any improper purpose, such as to harass another, to maliciously injure another or to cause unnecessary delay or increase in the cost of litigation. If a pleading, motion or other paper is not signed, it shall be stricken unless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the attention of the pleader or movant. If a pleading, motion or other paper is signed in violation of this section, the court shall award to the successful party costs and reasonable attorney fees and may, in addition, impose a civil penalty which shall not exceed $10,000. Such costs, fees and civil penalty shall be in addition to any other judgment awarded to the successful party and shall be imposed upon the person who signed the pleading, motion or other paper, or a represented party, or both. This section is in addition to and shall not be construed to limit any other remedies or sanctions provided by law.

42c8355v

(Feb. 7, 1990, P.L.11, No.6, eff. 60 days)

 

1990 Amendment.  Act 6 added section 8355.

Suspension by Court Rule.  Section 8355 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1023(d), adopted March 11, 1991. Rule 1023 was rescinded April 22, 2002, effective July 1, 2002.

42c8361h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER F

CORPORATE DIRECTORS' LIABILITY

(Repealed)

 

1990 Repeal.  Subchapter F (§§ 8361 - 8367) was added November 28, 1986, P.L.1458, No.145, and repealed December 19, 1990, P.L.834, No.198, effective immediately. The subject matter is now contained in Subchapter B of Chapter 5, Subchapter B of Chapter 17 and Subchapter B of Chapter 57 of Title 15 (Corporations and Unincorporated Associations).

42c8368.1h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER F.1

SUCCESSOR BUSINESS ENTITY LIABILITY

 

Sec.

8368.1. Legislative findings and declaration.

8368.2. Definitions.

8368.3. Liability.

8368.4. Fair market value.

8368.5. Adjustment of fair market value.

8368.6. Applicability and construction.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter F.1 was added July 2, 2014, P.L.1000, No.112, effective immediately.

42c8368.1s

§ 8368.1.  Legislative findings and declaration.

(a)  Findings.--The General Assembly finds that:

(1)  Asbestos-related claims threaten the continued viability of successor business entities which are formed or organized under the laws of this Commonwealth or another jurisdiction that have never manufactured, sold or distributed asbestos or asbestos-containing products.

(2)  It is in the best interest of this Commonwealth to ensure the economic viability of the entities under paragraph (1).

(3)  The viability of the domestic and foreign business entities under paragraph (1) is threatened due solely to their status as successor business entities by merger or consolidation based on actions taken prior to the 1972 adoption of asbestos regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

(4)  The cumulative recovery by all asbestos claimants from innocent successor business entities should be limited.

(b)  Intent.--It is the intent of the General Assembly to expand the protections granted in 15 Pa.C.S. § 1929.1 (relating to limitations on asbestos-related liabilities relating to certain mergers or consolidations) to successor business entities which are formed or organized under the laws of this Commonwealth or another jurisdiction.

42c8368.2s

§ 8368.2.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Asbestos claim."  A claim, wherever or whenever made, for damages, losses, indemnification, contribution or other relief arising out of, based on or in any way related to asbestos, including property damage caused by the installation, presence or removal of asbestos, the health effects of exposure to asbestos, including a claim for personal injury, death, mental or emotional injury, risk of disease or other injury or the costs of medical monitoring or surveillance. The term includes a claim made by or on behalf of any person exposed to asbestos or a representative, spouse, parent, child or other relative of that individual.

"Asbestos-related liability."  Any liability, whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, absolute or contingent, accrued or unaccrued, liquidated or unliquidated or due or to become due or related in any way to an asbestos claim.

"Business entity."  A for-profit corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited liability partnership or Subchapter S corporation formed or organized under the laws of this Commonwealth or another jurisdiction.

"Successor asbestos-related liability."  Any asbestos-related liability that was assumed or incurred by a business entity as a result or in connection with a merger or consolidation, or a plan of merger or consolidation related thereto, with or into another business entity formed or organized under the laws of this Commonwealth or another jurisdiction or which are related in any way to asbestos claims based on the exercise of control or the ownership of stock of the business entity prior to the merger or consolidation. The term shall include liabilities which, after the time of the merger or consolidation with a transferor for which the fair market value of the total gross assets of the successor business entity are determined under section 8368.4 (relating to fair market value), were paid, committed to be paid or discharged by or on behalf of the business entity, successor business entity or transferor in connection with a settlement, judgment or discharge in this Commonwealth or another jurisdiction.

"Successor business entity."  Any of the following:

(1)  A business entity that has merged or consolidated with a transferor prior to January 1, 1972, and that has assumed or incurred successor asbestos-related liabilities.

(2)  A business entity that is a successor of a business entity that has merged or consolidated with a transferor prior to January 1, 1972, and that has assumed or incurred successor asbestos-related liabilities.

"Transferor."  A business entity from which successor asbestos-related liabilities are or were assumed or incurred.

42c8368.3s

§ 8368.3.  Liability.

(a)  Limitation.--Except as provided under subsection (c), the cumulative successor asbestos-related liability of a successor business entity shall be limited to the fair market value of the total gross assets of the transferor as of the time of the merger or consolidation with the successor business entity.

(b)  Responsibility.--A successor business entity shall have no responsibility for successor asbestos-related liabilities in excess of the limitation under subsection (a).

(c)  Exception.--If a transferor assumed or incurred successor asbestos-related liability in connection with a prior merger or consolidation with a prior transferor, the fair market value of the total assets of the prior transferor as of the time of the prior merger or consolidation shall be substituted for the limitation under subsection (a) for purposes of determining the liability of the successor business entity.

42c8368.3v

 

Cross References.  Section 8368.3 is referred to in section 8368.5 of this title.

42c8368.4s

§ 8368.4.  Fair market value.

(a)  Establishment.--A successor business entity may establish the fair market value of total gross assets of the transferor as of the time of the merger or consolidation by any reasonable method under the circumstances, including the following:

(1)  By reference to the going-concern value of the assets or to the purchase price of the assets in an arms-length transaction.

(2)  In the absence of other readily available information from which fair market value can be determined, by reference to the value of the assets recorded on a balance sheet.

(b)  Intangible assets.--Total gross assets under this section shall include intangible assets.

(c)  Prima facie evidence.--A showing by the successor business entity of a reasonable determination of the fair market value of total gross assets shall be prima facie evidence of their fair market value.

(d)  Burden.--Following a reasonable determination of the fair market value of total gross assets by the successor business entity, a claimant disputing that determination shall have the burden of establishing a different fair market value of the total gross assets.

(e)  Insurance settlement.--To the extent that total gross assets include liability insurance, a settlement of a dispute relating to liability insurance coverage entered into by the transferor or successor business entity with the insurer of the transferor prior to the effective date of this section shall be determinative of the total coverage of the liability insurance in the calculation of the transferor's total gross assets.

42c8368.4v

 

Cross References.  Section 8368.4 is referred to in sections 8368.2, 8368.5 of this title.

42c8368.5s

§ 8368.5.  Adjustment of fair market value.

(a)  Annual increase.--Except as provided under subsection (c), the fair market value of total gross assets of a transferor as determined under section 8368.4 (relating to fair market value) shall increase annually until the earlier of:

(1)  The date of the settlement, judgment or other discharge to which the limitations under section 8368.3 (relating to liability) are being applied.

(2)  The date on which the adjusted fair market value is first exceeded by the cumulative amounts paid or committed to be paid by or on behalf of a successor business entity or a transferor after the time of merger or consolidation for which the fair market value of total assets is determined for purposes of section 8368.3, in connection with settlements, judgments or other discharges of successor asbestos-related liabilities.

(b)  Rate.--Any adjustment under subsection (a) shall be at the rate equal to the prime rate listed in the first edition of the Wall Street Journal published for each calendar year since the merger or consolidation plus 1% not compounded.

(c)  Exception.--No adjustment of the fair market value of total gross assets may be applied to any liability insurance as determined under section 8368.4.

42c8368.6s

§ 8368.6.  Applicability and construction.

(a)  Applicability.--This subchapter shall not apply to any of the following:

(1)  An asbestos claim for which the applicable period of limitation commenced on or before the effective date of this section.

(2)  Workers' compensation benefits paid to an employee under the act of June 2, 1915 (P.L.736, No.338), known as the Workers' Compensation Act, or a comparable workers' compensation law of another jurisdiction.

(3)  A claim against a business entity that does not constitute a successor asbestos-related liability.

(4)  An insurance business entity under 15 Pa.C.S. Ch. 31 (relating to insurance corporations).

(5)  Obligations arising under the National Labor Relations Act (49 Stat. 449, 29 U.S.C. § 151 et seq.) or under a collective bargaining agreement.

(6)  A claim against a successor business entity that, after a merger or consolidation, continued in the business of mining asbestos, in the business of selling or distributing asbestos fibers or in the business of manufacturing, distributing, removing or installing asbestos-containing products that were the same or substantially the same as those products previously manufactured, distributed, removed or installed by the transferor.

(b)  Construction.--Nothing in this subchapter shall affect the scope or effect of 15 Pa.C.S. § 1929.1 (relating to limitations on asbestos-related liabilities relating to certain mergers or consolidations). Limitations under 15 Pa.C.S. § 1929.1 shall continue to apply to all asbestos claims.

42c8371h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER G

SPECIAL DAMAGES

 

Sec.

8371.  Actions on insurance policies.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter G was added February 7, 1990, P.L.11, No.6, effective July 1, 1990.

42c8371s

§ 8371.  Actions on insurance policies.

In an action arising under an insurance policy, if the court finds that the insurer has acted in bad faith toward the insured, the court may take all of the following actions:

(1)  Award interest on the amount of the claim from the date the claim was made by the insured in an amount equal to the prime rate of interest plus 3%.

(2)  Award punitive damages against the insurer.

(3)  Assess court costs and attorney fees against the insurer.

42c8381h

 

 

SUBCHAPTER H

DRUG NUISANCES

 

Sec.

8381.  Short title of subchapter.

8382.  Definitions.

8383.  Action to abate.

8384.  Complaint.

8385.  Service of original process.

8386.  Preliminary injunction.

8387.  Protection of witnesses.

8388.  Security.

8389.  Judgment and remedies.

8390.  Violation of injunctions or abatement order.

8391.  Release and cancellation.

8392.  Severability.

 

Enactment.  Subchapter H was added December 14, 1992, P.L.872, No.140, effective in 60 days.

42c8381s

§ 8381.  Short title of subchapter.

This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the Drug Nuisance Law.

42c8382s

§ 8382.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Community-based organization."  Any group affiliated with or organized for the benefit of one or more communities or neighborhoods, or any group organized to benefit the quality of life in a residential area.

"Controlled substance act."  The act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.

"Drug-related nuisance."  The use of any property, in whole or in part, which facilitates or is intended to facilitate any violation of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or similar act of the United States or any other state.

"Manufacture" or "manufacturing."  The production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion or processing of a controlled substance, other drug or device or the packaging or repackaging of such substance or article, or the labeling or relabeling of the commercial container of such substance or article, but does not include the activities of a practitioner who, as an incident to his administration or dispensing such substance or article in the course of his professional practice, prepares, compounds, packages or labels such substance or article. The term "manufacturer" means a person who manufactures a controlled substance, other drug or device.

"Owner."  An individual, corporation, partnership, trust association, joint venture or any other business entity in whom is vested all or any part of the title to the property alleged to be a drug-related nuisance.

"Property."  Any tangible or intangible property, including an interest in any leasehold, license or real estate, such as any house, apartment building, condominium, cooperative, office building, store, restaurant, tavern, nightclub or warehouse, and the land extending to the boundaries of the lot upon which the structure is situated and anything growing on, affixed or found on the land.

"Tenant."  A person who resides in or occupies real property belonging to another person pursuant to a lease agreement or common law tenancy.

42c8383s

§ 8383.  Action to abate.

Wherever there is reason to believe that a drug-related nuisance exists, the district attorney, the Attorney General, if requested by a district attorney, the solicitor for the county or municipality, a resident within 1,000 feet of the property, including a tenant of the property, the owner of property or any community-based organization may file an action in the court of common pleas to abate, enjoin and prevent the drug-related nuisance. Such actions shall be commenced by the filing of a complaint alleging the facts constituting the drug-related nuisance.

42c8384s

§ 8384.  Complaint.

(a)  Adverse impact.--The complaint or an affidavit attached thereto shall describe the adverse impact associated with the drug nuisance upon the surrounding neighborhood. Adverse impact includes, without limitation, the presence of any one or more of the following conditions:

(1)  Diminished property value.

(2)  Increased fear of residents to walk through and in public areas, including sidewalks and streets, increased volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic to and from the property.

(3)  An increase in the number of ambulance or police calls to the property which are related to the use of drugs or to violence stemming from illegal activity.

(4)  Increased noise, bothersome solicitors or approaches by persons wishing to sell drugs or solicit the donation of money on or near the property.

(5)  The display of dangerous weapons on or near the property.

(6)  The discharge of firearms on or near the property.

(7)  Search warrants served on tenants or occupants of the property which resulted in the seizure of drugs.

(8)  Investigative purchases of drugs on or near the property by law enforcement officers.

(9)  Arrests of person on or near the property for violation of criminal laws.

(10)  Housing code violations relating to the property.

(11)  Health code violations relating to the property.

(12)  Accumulated trash and refuse in common areas on or adjacent to the property.

(13)  An unsecured entryway on the property.

(b)  Attempts to notify owner.--The complaint shall contain a description of what attempts, if any, have been made by the plaintiff or any other person or entity to notify the owner of the property of the drug-related nuisance or resulting adverse impact.

42c8385s

§ 8385.  Service of original process.

(a)  General rule.--A copy of the summons and complaint shall be served upon the defendant at least five business days prior to the first hearing in the action. Service of original process shall be made in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.

(b)  Posting at property.--If personal service cannot be made, service may be made by posting the papers at the property. If service is made by posting at the property, a copy of the summons and complaint shall be mailed registered mail to the last known mail address, if any, of the defendant. Actual receipt of the registered mail shall not be required for service.

42c8386s

§ 8386.  Preliminary injunction.

Upon the filing of a motion for preliminary injunction to abate the drug-related nuisance, the plaintiff shall be entitled to a hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction within 10 business days of the filing. If it shall be made to appear, by affidavit or otherwise, that there is a substantial likelihood that the plaintiff will show at trial, by a preponderance of the evidence, that drug-related nuisance exists, the court shall enter an order preliminarily enjoining the drug-related nuisance and granting such other relief as the court may deem to be appropriate, including those remedies provided for in section 8389 (relating to judgment and remedies). Whenever possible, the court shall order the trial of the action on the merits advanced and consolidated with the hearing of the motion. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the application for or the granting of a temporary restraining order.

42c8387s

§ 8387.  Protection of witnesses.

At the time of an application for the issuance of a restraining order or an injunction if proof of the existence of the drug-related nuisance depends, in whole or part, upon the affidavits of witnesses who are not law enforcement officers, upon a showing of prior threats of violence or acts of violence by any defendant or other person alleged to be involved in the drug-related nuisance, the court may issue orders to protect those witnesses, providing for nondisclosure of the name, address or any other identifying information pertaining to the witnesses, and such other and further relief as the court may deem appropriate.

42c8388s

§ 8388.  Security.

No bond shall be required to issue a preliminary injunction or special injunction sought by the district attorney or the solicitor for the county or municipality. A bond in an amount fixed and with security approved by the court may be required to issue a preliminary injunction or special injunction when the plaintiff is not the district attorney, the Attorney General or a solicitor for the county or municipality. Where such relief is issued after an evidentiary hearing at which witnesses are subject to cross examination, the court shall not require a bond in excess of $500.

42c8389s

§ 8389.  Judgment and remedies.

(a)  Burden of proof.--The plaintiff must establish that a drug-related nuisance exists by a preponderance of the evidence.

(b)  Relief.--If the existence of a drug-related nuisance is found, the judgment may include actual damages and a temporary or permanent injunction to restrain, abate and prevent the continuance or recurrence of the drug-related nuisance. The court may grant declaratory relief, mandatory orders or any other relief deemed necessary to accomplish the purposes of the injunction or order and enforce the same, and the court may retain jurisdiction of the case for the purpose of enforcing its orders.

(c)  Additional remedies.--If the existence of a drug-related nuisance is found, the court shall have the power additionally to fashion any one or more of the following remedies:

(1)  Assess costs of the action against the defendant.

(2)  When a governmental agency is a plaintiff in the action, assess a civil penalty against the defendant of not less than $500 nor more than $10,000.

(3)  Order the owner to clean up the property and make repairs upon the property.

(4)  Suspend or revoke any business, professional, operational or liquor license.

(5)  Order the owner to make additional reasonable expenditures upon the property, including, but not limited to, installing secure locks on doors, increasing lighting in common areas and using videotaped surveillance of the property and adjacent alleyways, sidewalks and parking lots.

(6)  Order all rental income from the property to be placed in an escrow account with the court for up to 90 days or until the drug-related nuisance is abated.

(7)  Order all rental income for the property transferred to a trustee, to be appointed by the court, who shall be empowered to use the rental income to make reasonable expenditures upon the property in order to abate the drug-related nuisance.

(8)  Order the suspension of any State, city or local governmental subsidies payable to the owners of the property, such as tenant assistance payments to landlords, until the nuisance is abated.

(9)  Allow the plaintiff to seal the property with the cost of sealing payable by the defendant.

(10)  Order the defendant to pay the plaintiff the cost of the suit, including reasonable attorney fees.

(d)  Factors to consider.--In making an order under subsection (c), the court shall consider, among others, the following factors:

(1)  The number of people residing at the property.

(2)  The proximity of the property to other residential structures.

(3)  The number of times the property has been cited for housing code or health code violations.

(4)  The number of times the owner has been notified of drug-related problems at the property.

(5)  The extent and duration of the drug-related nuisance at the time of the order.

(6)  Prior efforts or lack of effort by the defendant to abate the drug-related nuisance.

(7)  The availability of alternative housing for tenants of the building.

(8)  The extent of concern about the drug-related nuisance that has been expressed by nearby residents or visitors to the area.

(9)  The owner's involvement in the drug-related nuisance.

(10)  The owner's involvement in other drug-related nuisances.

42c8389v

 

Cross References.  Section 8389 is referred to in section 8386 of this title.

42c8390s

§ 8390.  Violation of injunctions or abatement order.

(a)  Contempt.--A violation of any court order issued under this subchapter is punishable as a contempt of court by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $75,000. The court may order the sheriff or other proper officer of any county to take into custody and commit to jail any person fined for a contempt until the fine shall be paid or discharged. If unable to pay the fine, the person may be committed to jail by the court for not more than three months. Evidence concerning the duration and repetitive nature of the violations shall be considered by the court in determining the contempt penalties.

(b)  Additional orders.--In addition, upon finding that a defendant has willfully violated a court order issued under this subchapter, the court shall be also empowered to issue any additional orders necessary to abate this drug-related nuisance.

42c8391s

§ 8391.  Release and cancellation.

(a)  No knowledge and abatement.--The court may suspend the effectiveness of an order of abatement for no more than 90 days if the owner of the property establishes that he had no knowledge of the drug-related nuisance and could not reasonably be expected to have such knowledge and the owner avers that he will immediately undertake specified measures to abate the nuisance and prevent it from being a drug-related nuisance for the following two-year period.

(b)  Fines and bond.--The courts shall cancel the order of abatement if the owner of the property pays all fines and liens against the property, satisfies the court that the drug-related nuisance has been abated for the past 90 days, corrects all housing code and health code violations and posts a bond in an amount to be determined by the court, which will be immediately forfeitable if the drug-related nuisance recurs during the following one-year period.

42c8392s

§ 8392.  Severability.

If any provision of this subchapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this subchapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.