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SCHNABEL v. MEREDITH (09/27/54)

September 27, 1954

SCHNABEL, APPELLANT,
v.
MEREDITH



Appeal, No. 23, Jan. T., 1954, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, May T., 1952, No. 146, in case of Carl F. Schnabel v. Charles M. Meredith. Judgment affirmed. Trespass for defamation and invasion of privacy. Before SATTERTHWAITE, J. Compulsory non-suit entered; plaintiff's motion to take off non-suit refused and final judgment entered. Plaintiff appealed.

COUNSEL

J. L. Cohen, with him Mitchell W. Miller, Levi, Mandel & Miller and Edwin S. Conro, for appellant.

William S. Bailey, with him Claire G. Biehn, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 378 Pa. Page 611]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES

This appeal is from a judgment of compulsory non-suit in a trespass action for damages for the defendant's alleged libel of the plaintiff and the invasion of his privacy. At the conclusion of the plaintiff's evidence, the defendant moved for a compulsory non-suit which the trial judge granted and which the court en banc later refused to take off. Judgment was accordingly entered, and the plaintiff appealed. The pertinent facts are not in dispute.

The defendant, Meredith, is the owner and publisher of the Quakertown Free Press, a weekly newspaper of general circulation in Quakertown, Bucks County, Pa. On January 24, 1952, there appeared on the front page of the newspaper the following article:

"F. B. I. LAUNCHES SLOT MACHINES' INVESTIGATION

No Evidence in Bucks County of Law Infractions -- Raids are Conducted in Montgomery

GAMBLERS ARE FEUDING

"Despite heavy activity by local and State Police and FBI agents against slot machine activities in counties surrounding Bucks, District Attorney Willard S. Curtin reported yesterday that his office has no evidence of gambling in the county in the last six months' period.

"The last round-up of gamblers in Bucks county occurred exactly six months ago Sunday when 69 men were arrested on August 20 of last year after a State Police raid on what was described as the ...


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