Appeal, No. 124, March T., 1954, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1950, No. 3341, in case of C.L. Croft v. John Malli et ux. Judgment affirmed. Trespass for property damage. Before DREW, J., without a jury. Adjudication filed finding for plaintiff; exceptions to adjudication dismissed and judgment entered for plaintiff. Defendants appealed.
Hubert Teitelbaum, with him Goldstock, Schwartz, Teitelbaum & Schwartz, for appellants.
John A. Metz, Jr., with him Metz & Metz, for appellee.
Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD
This case was tried before a judge of the common pleas without a jury, and upon the refusal of a new trial by the court en banc, judgment was entered on the verdict for plaintiff. We must first note that the scope of the review is much limited. "An appellate court will never substitute its own findings of fact, where the hearing judge's findings are sufficiently supported by the evidence and approved by the court in banc. Such findings have the same weight as the verdict of a jury": Andrikanics v. Andrekanics, 371 Pa. 222, 224, 89 A.2d 792. See also Logan Lumber Company v. Knapp, 155 Pa. Superior Ct. 580, 584, 39 A.2d 275; Horsfield, Exrx. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance
and placed it on the berm; that on April 12 he found the bulldozer on defendants' property with the side pushed out of the motor from freezing, and that the ice was still there and he could see it. He further stated that on the evening of April 11 it was cold and freezing during the night, and that the witness' own car was frozen on the morning of April 12. With reference to the damages that ensued, plaintiff testified that it cost him $250.00 to remove the bulldozer at the end of the two months period that the defendants held it, that it cost him approximately $500 to fix the main spring of the motor, and that the net loss to him as a result of being deprived of the use of the bulldozer for two months was the total of $1,600.
The Beckwith Machinery Company was the only distributor of caterpillar parts in the area where the damage occurred. Tyson, its credit manager and assistant to the treasurer, testified that he and a workman examined the bulldozer in May, 1950. He testified to the condition of the bulldozer, that the motor had been frozen and was broken on the right side of the main block; that the radiator had been burst from freezing; that he was familiar with the type of machinery and that the cause of the damage was the freezing of the water in the cooling system. He stated that he and the mechanic went over the machine simultaneously and reached a mutual decision, and a fair charge for the necessary repairs was $3,700; and that the work necessary to repair the same would be to install a new diesel engine block, a new starting engine block, a new radiator and radiator tanks. Another witness, manager of the Beckwith Machinery Company in charge of repairs and maintenance, testified that he had not examined the machine, but that whenever a block is frozen on a bulldozer he could say that a minimum number of things would have to be replaced to
get the machine in working condition. He also stated that in the particular case there could be more things which he was eliminating. He stated there would have to be replacements of the big engine block of the Diesel engine, complete radiator, starting engine block, the water pump, castings and all necessary seals and gaskets, and a new top tank and new bottom tank. He estimated costs, apart from labor, at from $2,000 to $3,500. He specifically testified as to the cost of the core, the top tank, the bottom tank, and the Diesel engine block, the water pump and starting block, and component parts. The correct addition of these various component parts amounts to $2,216.71. He further stated that the labor cost of doing the job would be from $1,000 to $1,200.
The various items of plaintiff's testimony showed damage in the minimum amount of $5,066.71. The court's award was $4,525, which was less than the figure of ...