§ 8522. Exceptions to sovereign immunity.
(a) Liability imposed.--The General Assembly, pursuant to section 11 of Article I of the Constitution of Pennsylvania, does hereby waive, in the instances set forth in subsection (b) only and only to the extent set forth in this subchapter and within the limits set forth in section 8528 (relating to limitations on damages), sovereign immunity as a bar to an action against Commonwealth parties, for damages arising out of a negligent act where the damages would be recoverable under the common law or a statute creating a cause of action if the injury were caused by a person not having available the defense of sovereign immunity.
(b) Acts which may impose liability.--The following acts by a Commonwealth party may result in the imposition of liability on the Commonwealth and the defense of sovereign immunity shall not be raised to claims for damages caused by:
(1) Vehicle liability.--The operation of any motor vehicle in the possession or control of a Commonwealth party. As used in this paragraph, "motor vehicle" means any vehicle which is self-propelled and any attachment thereto, including vehicles operated by rail, through water or in the air.
(2) Medical-professional liability.--Acts of health care employees of Commonwealth agency medical facilities or institutions or by a Commonwealth party who is a doctor, dentist, nurse or related health care personnel.
(3) Care, custody or control of personal property.--The care, custody or control of personal property in the possession or control of Commonwealth parties, including Commonwealth-owned personal property and property of persons held by a Commonwealth agency, except that the sovereign immunity of the Commonwealth is retained as a bar to actions on claims arising out of Commonwealth agency activities involving the use of nuclear and other radioactive equipment, devices and materials.
(4) Commonwealth real estate, highways and sidewalks.--A dangerous condition of Commonwealth agency real estate and sidewalks, including Commonwealth-owned real property, leaseholds in the possession of a Commonwealth agency and Commonwealth-owned real property leased by a Commonwealth agency to private persons, and highways under the jurisdiction of a Commonwealth agency, except conditions described in paragraph (5).
(5) Potholes and other dangerous conditions.--A dangerous condition of highways under the jurisdiction of a Commonwealth agency created by potholes or sinkholes or other similar conditions created by natural elements, except that the claimant to recover must establish that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury which was incurred and that the Commonwealth agency had actual written notice of the dangerous condition of the highway a sufficient time prior to the event to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition. Property damages shall not be recoverable under this paragraph.
(6) Care, custody or control of animals.--The care, custody or control of animals in the possession or control of a Commonwealth party, including but not limited to police dogs and horses and animals incarcerated in Commonwealth agency laboratories. Damages shall not be recoverable under this paragraph on account of any injury caused by wild animals, including but not limited to bears and deer, except as otherwise provided by statute.
(7) Liquor store sales.--The sale of liquor at Pennsylvania liquor stores by employees of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board created by and operating under the act of April 12, 1951 (P.L.90, No.21), known as the "Liquor Code," if such sale is made to any minor, or to any person visibly intoxicated, or to any insane person, or to any person known as an habitual drunkard, or of known intemperate habit.
(8) National Guard activities.--Acts of a member of the Pennsylvania military forces.
(9) Toxoids and vaccines.--The administration, manufacture and use of a toxoid or vaccine not manufactured in this Commonwealth under the following conditions:
(i) The toxoid or vaccine is manufactured in, and available only from, an agency of another state.
(ii) The agency of the other state will not make the toxoid or vaccine available to private persons or corporations, but will only permit its sale to another state or state agency.
(iii) The agency of the other state will make the toxoid or vaccine available to the Commonwealth only if the Commonwealth agrees to indemnify, defend and save harmless that agency from any and all claims and losses which may arise against it from the administration, manufacture or use of the toxoid or vaccine.
(iv) A determination has been made by the appropriate Commonwealth agency, approved by the Governor and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, that the toxoid or vaccine is necessary to safeguard and protect the health of the citizens or animals of this Commonwealth.
(v) The toxoid or vaccine is distributed by a Commonwealth agency to qualified persons for ultimate use.
The Commonwealth shall make the toxoid or vaccine available to a qualified person only if the person agrees to indemnify, defend and save harmless the Commonwealth from any and all claims and losses which may arise against the Commonwealth from the manufacture, distribution, administration or use of the toxoid or vaccine.
(10) Sexual abuse.--Conduct which constitutes an offense enumerated under section 5551(7) (relating to no limitation applicable) if the injuries to the plaintiff were caused by actions or omissions of the Commonwealth party which constitute negligence.
(Dec. 11, 1986, P.L.1481, No.151, eff. imd.; Nov. 26, 2019, P.L.641, No.87, eff. Nov. 26, 2019)
2019 Amendment. Act 87 added subsec. (b)(10). See sections 9 and 10(3) of Act 87 in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to severability and applicability.
1986 Amendment. Act 151 amended subsec. (b).
Cross References. Section 8522 is referred to in sections 5522, 8528 of this title; section 1711 of Title 74 (Transportation); section 6109 of Title 75 (Vehicles).