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SARNE v. BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY (03/24/52)

March 24, 1952

SARNE, APPELLANT,
v.
BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY



Appeals, Nos. 193 to 200 and Nos. 204 to 207, inclusive, from order and judgments of Courts of Common Pleas Nos. 6 and 7 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1949, Nos. 255 and 256, in case of Frank Sarne and Walter C. Maddox v. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company et al., Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Milton M. Borowsky, with him Freedman, Landy & Lorry, for plaintiffs.

Ralph S. Croskey, with him John J. Dautrich and Croskey & Edwards, for defendants.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 370 Pa. Page 83]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

This case arose out of two actions in trespass tried at the same time, brought respectively by Frank Sarne

[ 370 Pa. Page 84]

    and Walter C. Maddox, against five defendants. The defendants are the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company (hereinafter called the Railroad Company), Lee A. Hauser, an individual trading as Hauser Construction Company (hereinafter called Hauser), L. E. Winter Co., Inc. (Winter), Raymond Concrete Pile Company (Raymond), Domenic Rosati, Louis Rosati, James Rosati, Robert Rosati and Romolo Rosati, individually and as co-partners in the firm of Rosati and Son (Rosati). The trial at which the defendants offered no evidence resulted in verdicts in favor of both plaintiffs against Hauser and Raymond -- for Sarne in the sum of $25,000 and for Maddox in the sum of $2,500. The jury found in favor of the other defendants, the Railroad Company, Winter and Rosati. Hauser and Raymond filed motions for judgment non obstate veredicto and a new trial which were denied. Plaintiffs filed motions for a new trial against the Railroad Company and Rosati. The lower court of its own motion granted a new trial as to all parties.

Hauser and Raymond appeal and assign as error the refusal of their motions for judgment non obstante veredicto and the grant of a new trial. Winter and the Railroad Company assign as error the grant of a new trial. The plaintiffs assign as error the grant of a new trial to Hauser and Raymond. Rosati took no appeal.

Plaintiffs were injured on May 5, 1949 while working as laborers in the Railroad Company's roundhouse located at 38th and Jackson Streets, Philadelphia, when a section of an overhead steam pipe fell on them. This asbestos covered steam pipe which was four inches in diameter ran around the top of the roundhouse about twenty or thirty feet above the floor and five or six feet from the ceiling. It was suspended from the ceiling by rods which hooked into eyes, the eyes in turn being fastened into the rafters. These rods were then

[ 370 Pa. Page 85]

    attached to the pipe by encircling collars. The distance between the rods was about ten feet. The purpose of the pipe was to supply heat to the building and in order to accomplish this it was connected by ...


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