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READING CO. v. PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION. (12/09/58)

December 9, 1958

READING CO., APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.



Appeal, No. 288, Oct. T., 1958, from order of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, April 7, 1958, Complaint Docket No. 16778. Record remanded.

COUNSEL

Allen Lesley, with him H. Merle Mulloy, for appellant.

William A. Goichman, Assistant Counsel, with him Thomas M. Kerrigan, Counsel, for Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, appellee.

Frederic G. Weir, with him Oliver, Brandon & Shearer, for intervening appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, and Watkins, JJ. (ervin, J., absent).

Author: Hirt

[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 147]

OPINION BY HIRT, J.

Reading Company, for many years, has maintained two railroad yards in the City of Reading in the vicinity of its depot known as the Main or Outer Station.

[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 148]

The tracks of one of them, the Walnut-Oley Yard, extend for about 1/2 mile along the main line of the Reading Railroad from Walnut Street northwardly for a distance of five blocks to Oley Street. The other, the Fifth Street Yard, runs in an arc from Walnut Street in a northwesterly direction to Fifth Street a distance of about 1/3 mile. The capacity of these yards respectively is 326 and 151 cars. Employes of Reading Company, in performing their duties in both of these yards must of necessity stand and walk between cars on adjacent tracks in checking car numbers; to couple or uncouple cars; to "bleed air" from the brake systems or couple air hose, and to perform other necessary switching operations involving the movement of cars. The complaint in this case (by the present intervening appellees) charges Reading Company with the failure to correct dangerous conditions in the two yards. Specifically their complaint is: "In these yards, The Reading Company maintains and operates over tracks which are located so close together that numerous close and hazardous clearances jeopardize the life and limb of the individual complainants and many members of the labor unions represented by the complainant committee."

In limine, it is alleged that the Legislative Committee of Railroad Brotherhoods is not a proper party complainant in this proceeding. The committee, an unincorporated association (and therefore not a legal entity, Grant v. Carpenters' Dist. Council, 322 Pa. 62, 185 A. 273) on joining in the complaint acted in a purely representative capacity and it is argued that it is not a proper party (on the principle of Commuters' Committee v. Pa. P.U.C., 170 Pa. Superior Ct. 596, 599, 88 A.2d 420) because, as an association, it did not have a direct, immediate and substantial interest in the subject matter of the complaint. We need

[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 149]

    not decide the issue so raised, however, for the reason that the question was rendered moot by the fact that Billman and Johnson, each of whom joined in the action, for himself and on behalf of other members of his union, certainly were proper parties complainant in the ...


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