OPINION AND ORDER
TROUTMAN, District Judge.
On July 15, 1970, a chartered bus, carrying a group of school-age children and their counsellors, left Lawrence, New York, enroute to the Pennsylvania Dutch country. In an intermittent rain, the bus proceeded in a westerly direction along U.S. Route 22 (Interstate 78) in Pennsylvania [hereinafter U.S. 22]. The wet pavement allegedly precipitated a skid, causing the bus to rotate clockwise 180°, crash into the guardrails, and tumble over an embankment. As a result of the accident, seven students were killed and forty-seven others injured.
Thereafter, two suits, arising out of this accident, were instituted in this Court against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The first suit purports to be a class action, filed by Hubert Daye (the bus driver) and Tedesco Bus Company (the bus owner), each in their own right and on behalf of all passengers on the bus at the time of the accident. [Daye] The second suit was filed on behalf of two children who were passengers in the bus and injured in the accident.
The Commonwealth has moved to dismiss both complaints on three grounds, alleging that (1) the Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain these actions; (2) these actions are barred by the Commonwealth's immunity under the Eleventh Amendment,
Both actions have alleged as their jurisdictional basis a federal question arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States. In the Daye case, plaintiffs have alleged diversity of citizenship as an alternative jurisdictional basis. In so far as jurisdiction over the Commonwealth in Daye is based on diversity of citizenship, this Court lacks such jurisdiction, for it is well established that a state is not a person for the purposes of diversity jurisdiction. State Highway Comm'n. of Wyoming v. Utah Construction Co., 278 U.S. 194, 49 S.Ct. 104, 73 L.Ed. 262 (1929); O'Neill v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 459 F.2d 1 (3rd Cir., 1972). Moreover, a state cannot waive its lack of status as a citizen for the purpose of diversity jurisdiction. Harris v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Comm'n., 410 F.2d 1332, 1334 n.1 (3rd Cir. 1969), cert. denied, 396 U.S. 1005, 90 S.Ct. 558, 24 L.Ed.2d 497 (1970); Krisel v. Duran, 386 F.2d 179, 181 (2d Cir. 1967), cert. denied 390 U.S. 1042, 88 S.Ct. 1635, 20 L.Ed.2d 303 (1968).
Plaintiffs have alleged that this Court has jurisdiction over these actions in that their subject-matter raises substantial federal questions. Initially, plaintiffs argue that the issue whether the Commonwealth waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity presents a federal question. In Parden v. Terminal R. Co. of Ala., 377 U.S. 184, 84 S.Ct. 1207, 12 L.Ed.2d 233 (1964), the Supreme Court considered this identical question, holding:
See also Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel Dist. v. Lauritzen, 404 F.2d 1001, 1003-1004 (4th Cir. 1968). In the instant case, the issue whether Pennsylvania's affirmative actions in accepting federal highway grants and in its entry into the field of interstate commerce constitutes a waiver of its Eleventh Amendment immunity manifestly presents a federal question within the purview of the Parden decision.
In further support of this Court's jurisdiction, plaintiffs maintain that the issue whether a violation of the standards established in the Federal-Aid Highway Act or the Highway Safety Act gives rise to an implied cause of action to recover damages for personal injuries also constitutes a federal question. We conclude that this issue presents a federal question, for in Smith v. Kansas City Title & Trust Co., 255 U.S. 180,
Since plaintiffs' right to relief, if any, depends on our construction of the federal highway legislation, we have jurisdiction to determine whether such statutes create, by implication, a cognizable civil remedy.
B. The Class Action
In the Daye case, the named plaintiffs, Hubert Daye, Tedesco Bus Company, Frank Tedesco, and Academy Charter Service, Inc., purport to represent a class consisting of those passengers killed or injured in the accident of July 15, 1970. In order to proceed as a class, the burden is on the plaintiff to establish the right to do so. Philadelphia Electric Co. v. Anaconda American Brass Co., 43 F.R.D. 452, 457 (E.D.Pa. 1968). In the instant case, plaintiffs must satisfy the prerequisites of Rule 23(a)
Initially, it is well established that the plaintiff-representative must be a member of the class which he purports to represent. Bailey v. Patterson, 369 U.S. 31, 32-33, 82 S.Ct. 549, 7 L.Ed.2d 512 (1962). In this case, the purported class consists of those injured or killed in the bus accident in question. The only named plaintiff who could conceivably represent this class as a member is Hubert Daye, the driver himself. The remaining named plaintiffs are, in no way, representative of this class. Secondly, there arises a substantial question of adequacy of representation by the named plaintiffs. Adequacy of representation not only requires a coextensiveness of interests between the class and its representatives (present here in the common question of the liability of Pennsylvania), but also requires an absence of antagonistic interests. 3B J. Moore, Federal Practice ¶23.07 , ¶23.07 (2d ed. 1969). Several actions,
C. The Eleventh Amendment Waiver
The Eleventh Amendment expressly denies authority to the federal courts to entertain a suit brought by private parties against a state without its consent. Ford Motor Co. v. Department of Treasury of Indiana, 323 U.S. 459, 464, 65 S.Ct. 347, 89 L.Ed. 389 (1945). The mere presence of a federal question does not, in and of itself, divest a state of its immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1, 10 S.Ct. 504, 33 L.Ed. 842 (1899). The state may, however, consent to be sued in federal court and, thereby, waive its immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. Where the issue of waiver arises, the general rule is that a waiver of immunity will be found only where stated in the most express language, or where presented by such overwhelming implication from the text so as to leave no room for any other reasonable construction. Murray v. Wilson Distilling Co., 213 U.S. 151, 171, 29 S.Ct. 458, 53 L.Ed. 742 (1909); DeLong Corp. v. Oregon State Highway Comm'n., 233 F.Supp. 7 (D.Or.1964). Furthermore, a heavy burden is on the plaintiff to show an "intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege". Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 464, 58 S.Ct. 1019, 1023, 82 L.Ed. 1461 (1938). See also Fay v. Noia, 372 U.S. 391, 83 S.Ct. 822, 9 L.Ed.2d 837 (1963); DeLong Corp. v. Oregon State Highway Comm'n., supra, 233 F.Supp. at 19.
Plaintiffs argue that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has impliedly waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity,
In Petty v. Tennessee-Missouri Bridge Comm'n., 359 U.S. 275, 79 S.Ct. 785, 3 L.Ed.2d 804 (1959), plaintiff brought suit under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. § 688, to recover damages for the death of her husband aboard defendant's ferry boat. Defendant was a bi-state agency created by an interstate compact between Tennessee and Missouri pursuant to Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. The Commission was given the power "to contract, to sue and be sued in its own name". Further, in approving the compact, Congress added a proviso to the effect that the terms of the contract would not be construed "to affect, impair, or diminish any right, power or jurisdiction of * * * any court * * * of the United States, over or in regard to any navigable waters, or any commerce between the States * * *." The Supreme Court held initially that since the alleged waiver was contained in an interstate compact, its interpretation was a matter of federal law. Thereafter, the Court construed the congressional proviso as a deliberate reservation of jurisdiction in the federal court and concluded that the "sue and be sued" clause of the compact constituted a waiver of the state's immunity from suit. We find Petty inapposite to the facts of this case for several reasons. First, we read the language of the interstate compact and the Court's construction thereof to constitute an express waiver of Eleventh Amendment immunity. In the instant case, there is nothing even remotely similar to a sue or be sued clause or a reservation of jurisdiction in any of the applicable statutes. Secondly, under the terms of the agreement, the bi-state agency was operating over navigable waters —an area exclusively within the federal regulatory domain. Moreover, under the terms of the compact, federal jurisdiction over actions arising in navigable waters was expressly reserved, and Congress, under the Jones Act, had provided an express cause of action for torts occurring thereon. The compact was described as involving the "* * * launching of a governmental corporation into an industrial or business field * * *". 359 U.S. at 280, 79 S.Ct. at 789. In the instant case, the Commonwealth was operating exclusively within its own borders in an area traditionally within the state's regulatory domain. Congressional regulation in this area is limited to the controls it has secured under the Federal-Aid Highways Act, and this act provides no express cause of action to recover damages for personal injuries. Thus, we have concluded that Petty has little effect outside of its own limited factual situation and does not support the proposition of waiver in this case.
In Parden v. Terminal R. Co. of Alabama, 377 U.S. 184, 84 S.Ct. 1207, 12 L. Ed.2d 233 (1964) the Supreme Court expanded the rationale of Petty, holding that a state-owned and operated railroad, competing with privately-owned railroads in interstate commerce, is liable for personal injuries under the Federal Employers' Liability Act. The Court rejected the state's Eleventh Amendment immunity argument, reasoning that the state's operation of a railroad in interstate commerce must be in
Plaintiffs also rely on Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Dist. v. Lauritzen, 404 F.2d 1001 (4th Cir. 1968). In Lauritzen, a shipowner sued the Bridge and Tunnel District, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, for damages when the hull of his ship struck a submerged light tower at the bridge-tunnel spanning the Chesapeake Bay. As required by federal statute, 33 U.S.C. § 401, the District submitted plans to the Army Corps of Engineers for the approval of the bridge-tunnel and received a permit to begin construction. In rejecting the State's Eleventh Amendment immunity argument, the Court of Appeals held:
The result reached in Lauritzen was rejected by the Third Circuit in Red Star Towing & Transp. Co. v. Dep't. of Transp. of New Jersey, 423 F.2d 104 (3rd Cir. 1970), where the Court upheld the Eleventh Amendment immunity of the State of New Jersey on a virtually identical fact situation. The Court specifically disapproved of the contrary result reached in Lauritzen, holding it "arbitrary to say that the State consents to civil liability that could not be anticipated by reading the relevant federal statute". 423 F.2d at 106. Additionally, Lauritzen is strikingly similar to Petty, which we have previously found inapposite, in that the District's charter contained a "sue and be sued" clause, and the District entered into an exclusive realm of federal regulation—navigable waters.
Consequently, we conclude that Petty, Parden and Lauritzen do not support plaintiffs' theory of waiver, and plaintiffs cannot by a Procrustean stretch place themselves within the purview of those cases. We shall now undertake an independent analysis of plaintiffs' argument that by accepting federal funds under the Federal-Aid Highway Act and, thereby, entering into interstate commerce, the Commonwealth waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity.
1. Acceptance of Federal Funds
Plaintiffs argue that by participating in the federal highway program and by seeking and accepting funds thereunder, the state waived its immunity from suit. Plaintiffs rely heavily on Named Individual Members of San Antonio Conservation Soc'y. v. Texas Highway Dep't., 446 F.2d 1013 (5th Cir. 1971). Commencing in 1955 the Texas Highway Department planned and thereafter sought and obtained the approval of federal funds for a highway project extending from the San Antonio airport to San Antonio and through certain parklands. Upon objection by conservationists, in the course of tortious litigation in the
In Road Review League v. Boyd, 270 F.Supp. 650 (S.D.N.Y.1967),
2. Entry into Interstate Commerce
Plaintiffs, alternatively, argue that the state, in constructing an interstate highway, has voluntarily entered into the federally regulated area of interstate commerce and, therefore, is amenable to suit for its acts or omissions in violation of federal regulations. Initially, it should be noted that the mere entry of a state into a field of congressional regulation will not subject it to suit by private individuals. Red Star Towing & Transp. Co. v. Dep't. of Transp. of New Jersey, supra, 423 F.2d at 106. In Mahler v. United States, 306 F.2d 713 (3rd Cir.) cert. denied 371 U.S. 923, 83 S.Ct. 290, 9 L.Ed.2d 231 (1962), the Court of Appeals stated:
We have heretofore emphasized the fact that the Commonwealth, in constructing federal aid highways, has operated solely within its borders. This is because in the absence of federal regulation, the state may regulate its own intrastate activities, notwithstanding their effect on interstate commerce. Under the law of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth is "immune for liability in trespass for the negligence of its agents and employees in the construction, maintenance and repair
D. The Federal Highway Statutes
Neither the Federal-Aid Highway Act, 23 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., nor the Highway Safety Act expressly authorize a suit or cause of action for violation of their provisions. Plaintiffs argue that a cause of action is implied in that damages are necessary to effectuate the Congressional policy underlying the substantive provisions of those acts.
Plaintiffs' first claim is under the Federal-Aid Highway Act, in which several provisions are designated by plaintiffs as requiring this Court to imply a cause of action. Section 106(a) provides for the submission by the state and approval by the United States Secretary of Transportation [Secretary] of surveys, plans, specifications and estimates for each proposed project. Section 109(a) provides that the Secretary shall not approve the plans and specifications unless they are conducive to traffic needs, safety, durability and economy. Section 109(d) provides that the location of highway signs shall be subject to the approval of the State Highway Department with the concurrence of the Secretary. Section 109(e) provides that no funds shall be approved unless proper safety protective devices complying with certain safety standards approved by the Secretary are installed. Section 114(a) provides that highway construction shall be under the supervision of the State Highway Department, subject to the inspection and approval of the Secretary. Section 116(a) provides that it is the duty of the state to maintain the highways, and Section 116(c) provides that if the highway is not being properly maintained, the Secretary may withhold approval of further projects.
The statutory language of the Federal-Aid Highway Act clearly indicates that the ultimate responsibility for any safety provisions under the Act lies with the Secretary. The Secretary is given the power to withhold his approval in the event the design or construction of the highway does not meet applicable federal standards. Moreover, the Secretary is empowered to withhold funds for future projects in the event the highway is not being properly maintained. Consequently, the statutory language militates against the implication of a private remedy in that the express sanction provided in the Act is disqualification of the state for federal funds. It is noteworthy that the circumstances which would disqualify the state are in no way declared unlawful. Moreover, the congressional policy underlying the Act does not mandate an implied private cause of action. In Mahler v. United States, supra, the Third Circuit undertook an extensive and exhaustive review of the legislative history of the Act and concluded:
Secondly, plaintiffs claim that a private cause of action exists under Section 402(a) of the Highway Safety Act, 23 U.S.C. § 402(a),
The purpose of the Act and its regulations is manifest on its face—highway safety. The Act, however, was initially passed in 1966, while the highway in question was originally constructed in 1958. Thus, the provisions of the Act and regulations pertaining to safety programs in the initial design and construction of a federal aid highway are inapplicable, leaving only those involving resurfacing and corrections of areas with low skid resistance and high accident rates pertinent here.
A reading of the language of the regulation indicates that the establishment of such programs is directory rather than mandatory. In order to receive federal aid under this section, the state is directed to implement such a highway safety program. 23 U.S.C. § 402(c). Without such a program, the Secretary is authorized to discontinue the apportionment of funds under the Act. Thus, the power of the federal government to cut off federal funds provides the only sanction expressly authorized under the Act. We, therefore, conclude that the Highway Safety Act creates no duty on behalf of the states running toward these plaintiffs and creates no private action for breach thereof.
Plaintiffs argue that under the facts of this case the Commonwealth waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity
In addition to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Daye complaint has named individual officers of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as party-defendants. Jurisdiction over these parties is based on diversity of citizenship and the alleged liability of the individual defendants is based on negligence. Thus, the issue remains as to liability of the public officers arising from their alleged nonfeasance in failing to insure proper drainage and adequate guardrails along U. S. 22 in the light of the high number of reported accidents at this precise location of the route.
We are cognizant of a substantial split of authorities among the states on the issue of tort liability of public officers,
Moreover, this rule has been applied not only to affirmative acts of officials, but also to their inaction or nonfeasance. Thomas v. Osborn, supra, 93 Pa.Dist. & Co. R.2d at 473.
The Pennsylvania courts have applied the foregoing principle to a myriad of factual situations, none of which are directly on point.
Lastly, the Daye complaint has named the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penndot) as a party-defendant. Again, jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship and, again, the Commonwealth raises the defense of immunity. Whether Penndot, as an agency or alter ego of the State, is immune from the tort liability posited here is a question of state law. Harris v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Comm'n., supra, 410 F.2d at 1334-1335. In Conrad v. Commonwealth, Department of Highways, 441 Pa. 530, 272 A.2d 470 (1971), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania applied the doctrine of governmental immunity to bar an action in trespass for damages against the Department of Highways. In 1970, the Pennsylvania legislature transferred the powers, functions and duties of the Department of Highways to Penndot, 71 P.S. § 511. Thus, the doctrine of governmental immunity, as applied in Conrad, would likewise bar this present action. Furthermore, in a highly analogous situation, the Supreme Court held that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, as an instrumentality of the state engaged in a governmental function, is immune from liability in trespass for damages resulting from the negligence of its agents and employees. Rader v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Comm'n., supra. Accordingly, the motion of Penndot to dismiss the complaint as it is applicable to them will be granted.
Finally, plaintiffs suggest that the doctrine of governmental immunity is no longer viable and that we should re-examine it. Conrad demonstrates its viability as recently as 1971 and in Harris, the Third Circuit expressly refused to re-examine the doctrine as recently as 1969. We are bound by both.
23 U.S.C. § 109(a) provides:
23 U.S.C. § 109(d) provides:
23 U.S.C. § 109(e) provides:
23 U.S.C. § 116(c) provides:
For the purpose of these motions we shall not refer to other portions of the report suggesting additional or other contributing causes of this unfortunate accident.
Thus, under the Eleventh Amendment the federal courts lack authority to entertain a suit brought by a private party against a state without its consent. Ford Motor Co. v. Dep't. of Treasury, State of Indiana, 323 U.S. 459, 464, 65 S.Ct. 347, 89 L.Ed. 389 (1945).
The Pennsylvania courts have held that in the absence of a statute authorizing suits against the Commonwealth, the state is immune from the negligence of its agents and employees on the construction, maintenance and repair of a highway. Rader v. Pennsylvania Turnpike Comm'n., 407 Pa. 609, 611, 182 A.2d 199 (1962).