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STAMPOLIS v. LEWIS. (06/11/58)

June 11, 1958

STAMPOLIS, APPELLANT,
v.
LEWIS.



Appeal, No. 64, April T., 1958, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1956, No. 2350, in case of Antonios G. Stampolis v. John L. Lewis et al. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

Charles E. McKissock, for appellant.

Alexander Unkovic, with him A. E. Kountz, and Kountz, Fry & Meyer, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Ervin

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 286]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

This action in assumpsit was initiated by plaintiff, a miner, with the issuance of a writ of foreign attachment directed against funds held by the garnishee, a mine operator, and owing to the defendant, the Welfare and Retirement Fund, created under an agreement entered into in 1950 between the mine operators and the United Mine Workers of America, a labor union. The plaintiff seeks a pension from the Fund. The Fund appeared de bene esse and filed preliminary objections alleging lack of jurisdiction. The court below quashed the writ and the plaintiff took this appeal.

The facts, as stipulated by the parties, reveal that the 1950 agreement provided that the operators pay to the trustees of the Fund thirty cents a ton (now, by amendment, forty cents a ton,) on each ton of coal

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 287]

    mined on the properties of the operators throughout the country. The agreement was executed in Washington, D.C. and provided that the trust should have its place of business in Washington, D.C., which it has done. All of its property is personal, in the form of stocks, bonds and cash, and has been kept in Washington, D.C. Generally, the purposes of the Fund are (1) to make payments from the Fund "for medical or hospital care, pensions on retirement or death of employees, compensation for injuries or illness resulting from occupational activity or insurance to provide any of the foregoing, or life insurance, disability and sickness insurance or accident insurance; (2) benefits with respect to wage loss not otherwise compensated for at all or adequately by tax supported agencies created by federal or State law; (3) benefits on account of sickness, temporary disability, permanent disability, death or retirement; (4) benefits for any and all other purposes which may be specified...; and (5) benefits for all other related welfare purposes as may be determined by the Trustees.: ." The three trustees, none of whom reside in Pennsylvania, were appointed pursuant to the 1950 agreement and § 302(c) of the Labor-Management Relations Act, 1947, 29 U.S.C.A. § 186, one by the operators, one by the union and the third was selected by the first two.

The action in the court below was based upon the Act of June 13, 1836, P.L. 568 et seq., 12 PS § 2861 et seq., and subsequent amendments. The writ was issued pursuant to Pa. R.C.P. No. 1251 et seq., which provide that foreign attachment may be issued to attach the property of a defendant upon any cause of action at law or in equity in which the relief sought includes a judgment or decree for the payment of money when the defendant is an unincorporated association without a regular place of business in the

[ 186 Pa. Super. Page 288]

Commonwealth or is a foreign corporation or similar entity. Rule No. 2151 defines "association" as meaning an unincorporated association conducting any business or engaging in any activity of any nature whether for a profit or otherwise under a common name. Rule No. 2176 defines "similar entity" as any insurance association or exchange or any other association which is regarded as an entity distinct from the members composing the association. The word "association" is defined in Black's Law Dictionary, Third Edition, as: "The act of a number of persons in uniting together for some special purpose or business. The persons so joining. It is a word of vague meaning used to indicate a collection of persons who have joined together for a certain object." 7 C.J.S. § 1 sets forth that the word ...


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