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PADDEN v. LOCAL 90 UNITED ASSN JOURNEYMEN PLUMBERS (07/19/51)

July 19, 1951

PADDEN
v.
LOCAL 90 UNITED ASSN OF JOURNEYMEN PLUMBERS



COUNSEL

Alphonsus L. Casey, Myron A. Pinkus, Scranton, for appellant.

Walter L. Hill, Jr., O'Malley, Harris, Harris and Warren, of Scranton, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.

Author: Rhodes

[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 613]

RHODES, President Judge.

In this action of trespass plaintiff, a master plumber, claims that the defendant union, by concerted action, intentionally and wrongfully prevented him from keeping or procuring the services of qualified journeymen plumbers to plaintiff's financial loss. Defendant's motion for non-suit was denied, and the jury rendered a verdict for plaintiff in the sum of $1,000. Defendant's motions for new trial and for judgment n. o. v. were overruled, and defendant has appealed from judgment on the verdict.

Appellant now contends that its motion for judgment n. o. v. should have been granted as appellee failed to establish a cause of action, and as the jury's findings were not supported by the evidence. We are unable to agree with appellant in either respect. The evidence established that appellee had been engaged in business in Scranton as a master plumber and contractor for twenty-seven years. Since 1947 appellee had employed one Anthony Cherundolo, a journeyman plumber and member of appellant union. In June, 1948, appellee and the union entered into a collective bargaining contract which defined the terms of employment where members of the union were hired by master plumbers. The controversy centers about a dispute between appellee and the appellant union as to the use of iron bends rather than lead bends in plumbing installations. Appellee claimed the union induced Cherundolo to quit appellee's employment for the sole purpose of forcing appellee to use lead bends. Appellee further claimed that the installation of lead bends rather than iron bends was not a proper object of concerted action by the union, since iron bends were legal under state and municipal law. Further appellee claimed that the union, by such concerted action, was not interested in the public health and safety, or in the betterment of working conditions for its members,

[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 614]

    but only in having employment for the longer hours necessary to install lead bends.

Appellee's evidence showed that Cherundolo quit appellee's employ on July 21, 1948, because of disputes with the union over appellee's use of apprentice plumbers, and the use of iron bends instead of lead bends. Under a temporary adjustment, Cherundolo resumed work for appellee on July 26, 1948, and continued in appellee's employ until July 30, 1948, when Cherundolo again quit. Cherundolo then told appellee he could not resume work until such time as appellee ceased to use iron bends. Thereafter appellee was unable to hire any journeyman plumber until January 18, 1949. Appellee's alleged loss of profits from prospective plumbing contracts amounted to approximately $2,495.

The trial judge submitted three questions to the jury. The first question was: '1. Did defendant Local 90 use concerted action to deprive plaintiff of services of union journeymen from August 1, 1948 to January 18, 1949?' The jury answered the question in the affirmative. The jury answered the second question in the negative: '2. Was the dispute between plaintiff and defendant about the propriety of using iron bends in place of lead bends in plumbing installations a proper object of concerted action by the defendant?' The third question read: '3. Did such concerted action by defendant cause financial loss to plaintiff?' The jury answered 'Yes.' There was sufficient evidence to establish that plaintiff had suffered a monetary loss of at least $1,000.

Appellant asserts there is no proof that the union engaged in concerted action which deprived appellee of the services of journeymen plumbers. A review of the record shows ample evidence to support the jury's finding on this issue. Appellee's evidence showed the union control over its ...


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