Dismissal of lawsuit against a municipal client.
The plaintiffs contracted with a builder to construct a 5,000 sq. ft. home. In accordance with the Uniform Construction Code, the local township contracted with a privately-owned company to serve as a code enforcement and permit officer. The company issued a building permit, inspected the home at several points during construction, and eventually issued a certificate of occupancy. However, the plaintiffs claimed that the home had significant structural and aesthetic defects, and the code enforcement officer failed to conduct proper inspections during the construction process. The plaintiffs sued their builder, the code enforcement officer and the township. The township was alleged to have negligently hired and/or negligently supervised the code enforcement officer. Preliminary objections were filed in response, raising governmental immunity as a clear defense to the negligence claims against the township. Following oral argument, the court sustained the preliminary objections and dismissed the township from the action, finding there were no plausible claims for negligence based upon application of the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.