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HAEFELE v. DAVIS (05/04/60)

May 4, 1960

HAEFELE
v.
DAVIS, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 348, Jan. T., 1959, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, Jan. T., 1956, No. 6, in equity, in case of Martin F. Haefele et al. v. Thomas Davis et al. Decree affirmed; reargument refused June 3, 1960.

COUNSEL

Donn I. Cohen, with him James P. Costello, Jr., and Sidney G. Handler, for appellants.

Max Rosenn, with him Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, for appellees.

Before Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 399 Pa. Page 506]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN.

Indispensable to the setting of the instant appeal in its proper perspective (an approach necessitated by the questions raised) is a brief resume of the procedural adventures of an earlier case involving fundamentally the same substantive, undisputed facts; for, it is with a correct interpretation and application of the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel that we are here primarily concerned.

Plaintiffs Haefele and Hares were suspended from their jobs with Vulcan Iron Works, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on June 27, 1949. Plaintiff Lord's suspension was under date of July 11, 1949. Alleging that the appellants' tortious interference with their seniority rights caused the loss of employment, plaintiffs filed a bill in equity seeking injunctive relief and damages on October 4, 1949. A hearing in the court of Luzerne County on June 6, 1950, resulted in the dismissal of the action and, on appeal to this Court, the order was reversed and the record remanded for additional, but limited, proceedings (368 Pa. 23). Accordingly, a further hearing was held on September 11, 1951, and the subsequent supplemental adjudication and final decree of March 19, 1952, granted injunctive relief and awarded monetary damages covering wage losses from the date of suspension to the time of the original hearing, June 6, 1950. An appeal to this Court from that order was dismissed on February 13, 1953 (373 Pa. 34).

On February 2, 1954, appellants filed in the lower court a petition for a rule to show cause why the final decree of March 19, 1952, should not be opened. The petition was dismissed and this Court on appeal affirmed (380 Pa. 94). On March 8, 1955, the award was paid

[ 399 Pa. Page 507]

    in full and the judgment against the appellants satisfied of record. The present action in equity instituted in the form of a supplemental action seeks additional damages for wage losses suffered from June 6, 1950, (the date of the original hearing on the amended bill) to April 7, 1952 (the date of plaintiffs' reinstatement to their employment). The lower court entered an adjudication granting the monetary damages asked for. This appeal followed.

Are the plaintiffs estopped from seeking recovery for this additional loss, the occurrence and amount of which are not seriously refuted?

An examination of the record of the first suit clearly indicates that the damages now sought had not arisen as of the date that cause was litigated; and, that the specific question, now in controversy, was not raised either in the pleadings or the evidence and was not decided or considered therein, either expressly or by implication. The bill claimed no damages for future loss caused by ...


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