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BENJAMIN v. FOIDL. (11/15/54)

November 15, 1954

BENJAMIN, APPELLANT,
v.
FOIDL.



Appeals, Nos. 195 to 200, inclusive, Jan. T., 1954, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1954, No. 400, in cases of Yetta Benjamin et al., trading as Charles Benjamin et al. v. John Foidl et al. Decree reversed; reargument refused December 13, 1954. Bill in equity. Before BOK, P.J. Order entered dismissing complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Plaintiffs appealed.

COUNSEL

Peter P. Zion, with him Leonard A. Green, for appellants.

Richard H. Markowitz, with him Louis H. Wilderman and Paula R. Markowitz, for appellees.

Homer H. Hewitt, 3rd, Jacoby & Maxmin, John C. Youngman, Candor, Youngman & Gibson, David H. Kinley and Geoffrey J. Cuniff, for appellees.

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

Author: Arnold

[ 379 Pa. Page 541]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

Plaintiffs brought this bill in equity against the defendants and charged that by means of conspiracy they sought to and did deprive them of employment. The court below granted a preliminary injunction, and after hearing on its continuance sustained the objections of the defendants and dismissed the complaint. Plaintiffs appealed.

The plaintiffs are holders of certificates of convenience from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission, and are engaged in the business known as rigging, hoisting, hauling, loading and unloading and installing in place and placing on foundations all forms of heavy and intricate machinery and other equipment. The complaint charged, inter alia, that the defendants entered into a conspiracy to deprive the plaintiffs of employment by means not now necessary to set forth. It suffices to say that the allegations of the bill in equity and the

[ 379 Pa. Page 542]

    proof of the plaintiffs showed a common law conspiracy. The court below sustained the preliminary objections and dismissed the bill on the theory that since union labor was involved (two labor unions being cited as a part of the defendants' conspiracy), the resort of the plaintiffs was to the National Labor Relations Board, although it was not shown at the hearing on continuance of the injunction that the plaintiffs were engaged in interstate commerce.

The principal support of the court was the case of Garner v. Teamsters, Chauffeurs and Helpers, Local Union No. 776, 373 Pa. 19, 94 A.2d 893, aff. 346 U.S. 485, 74 S.Ct. 161.

But that case does not govern here. That was a case brought to enjoin picketing which constituted an unfair labor practice. After the Garner case the Supreme Court of the United States decided the case of United Construction Workers Affiliated with United Mine Workers, of America v. Laburnum Const., 74 S.Ct. 833, 347 U.S. 656, which case was a common law tort action for compensatory and punitive damages. In the instant case the compensatory and punitive damages are covered by the prayer for general relief. In the Laburnum case it was held that the jurisdiction of the state courts of Virginia was not outsted by the Labor Management Relations Act, although the United States Supreme Court stated: "... we assume the conduct before us also constituted an unfair labor practice" within the provisions of Section 8(b) and other sections of the so-called Taft Hartley Law, and denied the contention that the Act of 1947 (Labor Management ...


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