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GARRATT v. PHILADELPHIA. (12/29/56)

December 29, 1956

GARRATT, APPELLANT,
v.
PHILADELPHIA.



Appeal, No. 272, Jan. T., 1956, from order and judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1956, No. 462, in case of Elizabeth P. Garratt v. City of Philadelphia et al. Order and judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Robert C. Grasberger, for appellant.

Thomas A. Masterson, Deputy City Solicitor, with him David Berger, City Solicitor, for appellees.

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

Author: Bell

[ 387 Pa. Page 443]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

The Award Committed denied an award to the plaintiff, who is the widow of a City fireman who (under the pleadings) was admittedly killed on March 19, 1955, while fighting a fire. The lower Court sustained preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer and dismissed a complaint in mandamus to compel the Award Committee to make the award, on the ground that under the City Ordinance dated December 29,

[ 387 Pa. Page 4441954]

*fn1 (1) the death which occurred must have occurred while fighting a fire, and (2) must have resulted from an heroic deed which involved a special hazard or risk. We cannot agree with the lower Court's interpretation of the City Ordinance which reads in material part as follows:

"An Ordinance Providing for the establishment of an award committee and for the payment of an honor award of ten thousand (10,000) dollars to the surviving widows or dependent children or dependent parents of firemen, policemen and park policemen who lose their lives in the course of performing certain*fn2 duties.

"Whereas, Firemen, policemen and park policemen, without fear or hesitance and in accordance with the highest ideals and standards of service daily risk their lives in the performance of certain duties on behalf of the citizens of this City; and

"Whereas, The City desires to encourage the heroic acts of these men and to give recognition to and honor those who give their lives on behalf of the citizens of our City; therefore The ...


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