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GEFTER v. ROSENTHAL. (01/12/56)

January 12, 1956

GEFTER, APPELLANT,
v.
ROSENTHAL.



Appeal, No. 335, Jan. T., 1955, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1954, No. 3600, in case of Louis P. Gefter v. Abraham Rosenthal, Henry J. Kauffman, trading as Rosenthal Caterers, et al. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Herbert K. Fisher, with him David Kanner, for appellant.

William L. West, with him W. L. Arthur Silverman, M. Murray Schwartz and Zoob & Matz, for appellees.

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

Author: Bell

[ 384 Pa. Page 124]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Plaintiff brought an action in trespass to recover damages for the humiliation and mental suffering he alleged he received because at a dinner celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary, his guests were charged a 15 cents tip for each coat checked. Plaintiff had entered into a written agreement with the caterers that he would pay defendants 15 cents per coat checked, and there would be no tipping for cloakroom services. Plaintiff claimed that defendants' wanton and intentional violation of their written agreement and their charge of 15 cents per coat checked, caused him, we repeat, humiliation and mental suffering to the extent of $15,000., plus $5,000. punitive damages. Plaintiff did not bring assumpsit nor was there any claim of physical injuries. This was damnum absque injuria.

[ 384 Pa. Page 125]

There can be no recovery for humiliation, disappointment, anxiety, or mental suffering, or emotional distress when unconnected with physical injury or physical impact: Potere v. Philadelphia, 380 Pa. 581, 112 A.2d 100; Hess v. Philadelphia Transportation Co., 358 Pa. 144, 56 A.2d 89; Huston v. Freemansburg Boro., 212 Pa. 548, 61 A. 1022.

The defendants' preliminary objections to plaintiff's amended complaint were properly sustained.

It is not necessary to decide whether damages can be recovered for mental suffering arising out of a wanton and reckless breach of contract for the carriage or proper disposition of dead bodies or for breach of a contract for the delivery of death messages and similar contracts, since these cases can have no application or relevancy to the case at issue.

Disposition

Judgment ...


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