The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

December 23, 2013

COG claims immunity from lawsuit

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

MERCER COUNTY — Mercer County Regional Council of Governments, its two public transportation agencies and a bus driver have claimed immunity to a lawsuit filed by a woman injured in a traffic crash involving a Mercer County Community Transit bus.

Bernice W. Lackey, 337 N. Foster Road, Jackson Township, was injured Dec. 30, 2011, in the crash at North Foster and Poole roads, according to her complaint filed Oct. 11.

Lackey’s car hit a utility pole and she suffered broken ribs, a concussion and internal injuries, she said.

State police cited Lackey, 56, with driving at an unsafe speed and bus driver Earl J. Davis, 34, of 907 Baldwin Ave., Sharon, with running a stop sign, but both drivers were found not guilty at separate summary trials by District Judge E. Neil McEwen, Pine Township.

Lackey has charged Davis with negligence and transit, Shenango Valley Shuttle Service and COG – COG operates both bus services – with vicarious liability.

The defendants, in their answer filed Dec. 9, denied liability and argued that they are immune to the suit under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act.

They also said she filed her suit too late and her claims “may be barred by her contributory and/or comparative negligence.”