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IACOCCA v. ROBBINS HOMES (06/26/50)

June 26, 1950

IACOCCA
v.
ROBBINS HOMES, INC., APPELLANT



Appeal No. 47, Jan. T., 1950, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, April T., 1947, No. 155, in case of Nicola Iacocca v. Robbins Homes, Inc. Judgment affirmed; reargument refused September 25, 1950.

COUNSEL

George D. Kline, with him Frank F. Truscott, Harold A. Butz, Butz, Steckel, Hudders & Rupp and Truscott, Trinkle & Wright, for appellant.

Charles M. Bolich, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne and Bell, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 365 Pa. Page 352]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Plaintiff sued defendant in assumpsit for $192,697.24 on a large number of transactions, about half of them arising out of written agreements and half out of oral agreements. These agreements involved, inter alia, the purchase in one case of seven (7) lots; in another instance the purchase of one hundred forty-five (145) lots; in another instance the purchase of one hundred sixty-three (163) lots; the rendering of services in connection with the erection, rental and sale of houses; an agreement with respect to the exchange of a tract for houses having an equity of $45,000.00; an oral agreement for the purchase of two groups of additional lots; an oral agreement pertaining to the rental of certain buildings and the cost of purchasing supplies. These claims totaled $232,791.64, of which $40,094.40 was paid by the defendant, leaving a balance of $192,697.24.

The defendant admitted the written agreements but averred that by mistake the agreements failed to provide for many things upon which plaintiff and defendant had orally agreed.

Defendant also averred, inter alia, that plaintiff agreed (1) to provide for water mains, concrete footways and curbs; (2) to accept a different sum per lot

[ 365 Pa. Page 353]

    than that stipulated in the written agreement; (3) that the city would furnish water mains of certain dimensions and at certain specific prices; (4) that the plaintiff would procure the paving of all streets by the City of Allentown without cost; (5) that subsequently, a written agreement was made between the parties modifying the original agreement; (6) that the defendant agreed to pay plaintiff for certain services a specific sum which was far less than that which plaintiff averred; (7) that plaintiff was to receive $50.00 per house for sale and $25.00 per house for rental which was subsequently increased from time to time; (8) that one of the tracts in question had already been dedicated for park purposes and that its conveyance was not to be compensated; (9) that defendant never agreed to purchase additional lots; (10) that defendant was not to pay rent for ground or buildings used for storage; (11) that plaintiff executed a release in full; and (12) that plaintiff received from defendant cash and equities in houses to an amount aggregating $86,379.11.

Defendant also filed a counter-claim for $106,536.57 arising out of plaintiff's breach of alleged oral agreements pertaining to the City of Allentown and the procuring of water mains and the furnishing of ground for grading. All the allegations of the counter-claim were denied by the plaintiff.

The learned President Judge of the court below, sitting without a jury -- after hearing testimony which covered 2072 pages and included 256 exhibits, and considering plaintiff's 150 requests for findings of fact and 29 requests for conclusions of law, and defendant's 137 requests for findings of fact and 57 requests for conclusions of law -- found a verdict for the ...


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