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YENCHKO v. GRONTKOWSKI (05/21/56)

May 21, 1956

YENCHKO
v.
GRONTKOWSKI, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 299 and 300, Jan. T., 1955, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Oct. T., 1951, No. 719, in case of George Yenchko et ux. v. Mary Grontkowski and Raymond B. Grontkowski. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Arthur Silverblatt, with him Arthur H. James, and James, McLean, Silverblatt & Miner, for appellants.

Roy B. Pope, with him John L. Bigelow, for appellees.

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

Author: Arnold

[ 385 Pa. Page 273]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

In this action of trespass, tried by the court without a jury, under the Act of 1874, defendants appeal from judgment entered for plaintiffs.

Defendants specifically assign as error the court's findings on negligence and proximate cause.

In a determination of the present matter we must first assert the well established principle in our law that the findings of the trial court, confirmed by the court en banc, having evidence to sustain them, have the weight of a verdict by a jury, and will not be disturbed on appeal: Jackson & Perkins Company v. Mushroom Transportation Company, 351 Pa. 583, 584, 41 A.2d 635; Leister v. Miller, 376 Pa. 452, 455, 103 A.2d 656.

The facts established by plaintiffs, and believed by the court below, were that in November, 1950, plaintiffs' land and buildings were damaged as a result of the flow of a large volume of surface water from defendants' land. Defendants' land was used as a park, and had thereon a lake used for boating and ice skating. Plaintiffs own adjacent land which has been devoted to housing development. Both at the time of plaintiffs' purchase and that of defendants, the natural flow of water from defendants' land was in a northerly

[ 385 Pa. Page 274]

    direction toward plaintiffs' land, but to a considerable extent in a westerly direction toward the lake.

Prior to the occurrence giving rise to this action, defendants had deposited dirt along the east side of the lake into which surface waters normally flowed; and also had knowingly permitted an intake pipe, which ...


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