Student Sued the School District for Injury During Class Assignment

In Canon-McMillan School District v. Bioni, 127 Pa. Commw. 317, 561 A.2d 853 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1989) (Canon-McMillan III), a student was injured when a wooden bowl, which the student was sanding on a wood lathe as part of an in-class assignment, broke apart. The trial court initially entered judgment in favor of the student in his case against the school district, denied the school district's motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and the school district appealed. The Court reversed the trial court and ordered a new trial. The school district appealed to the Supreme Court and the matter was remanded to this Court to determine whether the wood lathe was an item of realty or personalty. On remand, we applied the test in Clayton and determined that the wood lathe fell within the third category because it was connected with the real estate and could be removed without destroying or materially injuring the lathe or the property to which it was annexed. This Court determined that the school district did not intend the lathe to be part of the realty at the time it was annexed. Id. at 854-55. Therefore, the Court directed the trial court to enter judgment in favor of the school district because the student was injured by a piece of personalty, thus, making the school district immune from liability under the Tort Claims Act.