Appeals, Nos. 28 and 29, Jan. T., 1960, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Sept. T., 1955, No. 24, in case of William A. Shannon et al. v. Joseph M. Baltz, individually and trading as Joseph M. Baltz & Co., et al. Decree reversed. Equity. Before FORREST, J. Adjudication filed dismissing complaint and counterclaims, plaintiffs' exceptions to adjudication dismissed in part and sustained in part, and decree entered. Plaintiffs appealed.
Lester J. Schaffer, with him Isaac D. Levy, for appellants.
Russell J. Brownback, with him Roger B. Reynolds, for appellees.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK
The chancellor adjudged the case for the defendants and the plaintiffs have appealed.
It involves slightly over seven acres of land in Gladwyne, Montgomery County, which ran behind several adjoining properties and would have protected them against further development. Nine landowners, including plaintiffs, were originally involved. One of them, Dr. Shannon, after discussing the situation with the others, approached defendant Baltz & Company, a real estate brokerage firm, in January, 1955, and spoke with its employe Pinder. The doctor testified: "And I assigned him the task and asked him if he would proceed to secure and buy this piece of ground for us. And he said he would." From this and other evidence the chancellor found as a fact: "Defendants were the agents of the plaintiffs and others, to obtain information and to negotiate an offer to purchase the premises in controversy."
At another meeting, in February, to which Pinder brought Alden, an associate of Baltz, a price of $3000 an acre, plus a commission of $1000, was agreed upon as an offer to be made to the Waverly Corporation, owner of the seven acres. This price caused three of the neighbors to drop out, in March, but Shannon thereafter
gave Pinder the names of other prospective purchasers.
On May 22nd, Alden, without a word to anyone, bought the property for himself as a result of "hearing something". The next day Loesche, one of the group neighbors, asked Alden why he had bought the ground without giving the group more time.
On May 28th, Alden talked with Loesche and Galey, another of the neighbors, about the group not getting together and offered them a seven days' option to take an assignment of his interest and to settle within ninety days for $3000 per acre and $1000 commission. Hearing nothing from Loesche and Galey, Alden wrote Loesche on June 6th, "assuming that you are acting as ...