Appeals, Nos. 147, 148 and 215, Jan. T., 1955, from orders of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1952, No. 2924, in cases of Zakar Soltan and Yervkine Soltan v. Jesse A. Shahboz et ux., Max D. Palitz, trading as Ogontz Realty Co., Morris S. Goldberg and Stanley Goldberg. Orders reversed; reargument refused January 24, 1956.
Walter Stein, with him David Berger, for plaintiffs, appellants.
Leonard B. Gordon, with him Herman Steerman and Samuel Gordon, for defendants-brokers, appellants.
George Gershenfeld, with him Maurice S. Strauss, for defendants-vendors, appellees.
Herman Steerman, Samuel Gordon and Leonard B. Gordon, for appellees.
Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE HORACE STERN
The action which culminated in these appeals was instituted by plaintiffs to recover damages resulting from their reliance on certain fraudulent misrepresentations allegedly made by defendants.
Defendants Jesse A. Shahboz and Anna J. Shahboz, his wife, were the owners of an apartment building at the corner of Old York Road and Oak Lane Avenue, Philadelphia. Sometime in February, 1951, plaintiff Zakar Soltan, learning that it was for sale, called on Shahboz and was shown by him around the property. While proceeding along the Oak Lane Avenue side Shahboz, according to Soltan's testimony, told him that the city was going to buy a part of the tract along that Avenue. Soltan thereupon retained defendant Morris S. Goldberg as his agent to represent him in the transaction, Goldberg being then employed by defendant Max D. Palitz, trading as Ogontz Realty Company. Soltan, his son Albert, and Goldberg again visited the property and Albert testified that on that occasion Shahboz told them that the city was going to widen Oak Lane Avenue and the Soltans would receive from $13,000 to $15,000. Soltan, with his wife and Albert, then repaired to Goldberg's office, and Goldberg is alleged to have stated to them that the property was worth $36,000 and they would get $13,000 to $15,000 from the city, so that for $23,000 it was a good purchase. Soltan authorized Goldberg to proceed and accordingly, the following day, Goldberg brought plaintiffs an agreement for their signatures which described the premises merely as 6701 Old York Road. They signed this agreement but Goldberg's son Stanley came the next day bringing a new agreement, tore up the old one, and told them to sign the new one and "make it snappy." This new agreement described the property as "that part of premises at the northeast corner of Old York Road and Oak Lane Avenue (6701 Old York Road) now owned by the sellers; that is, the original property reduced by that part along Oak Lane Avenue taken by the City of Philadelphia for the purpose of widening said thoroughfare." Settlement for the property
took place in June, 1951, and plaintiffs entered into possession. At the settlement Stanley Goldberg allegedly told Soltan that the city was going to take part of the land, it was "in the deed," and they would get some of their money back. In April 1952 Soltan received notice from the city to fix the pavement along Oak Lane Avenue; having begun to make the necessary repairs he was told by his barber that Shahboz had said to him that plaintiffs were foolish to fix the pavement on a piece of property that did not belong to them and for which he, Shahboz, had already been paid by the city. Plaintiffs thereupon employed counsel and then found out that not only had the city in 1949 condemned 2,833 square feet of the property along Oak Lane Avenue but in 1950 had paid Shahboz and his wife compensation therefor in the sum of over $6,000, so that Shahboz must, of course, have known that the representations he made to plaintiffs were wholly false and fraudulent. Soltan testified that he could read English only to the extent of the large letters on the cans which he handled in ...