Appeal, No. 251, Jan. T., 1959, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1957, No. 1589, in case of Murray I. Myers et al. v. Albert Rubin et al. Decree modified.
Philip M. Hammett, with him Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, for appellants.
Herbert Fineman, with him Fineman & Fineman, for appellees.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and McBRIDE, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO.
Murray I. Myers and the Wynnebrook Bus Lines, Inc., of which he is the president, brought an action in equity against Albert Rubin, Jack Rubin, Rebecca Rubin and Louis Rubin, trading as the Rubin Lines, now the County Transit Company of Glenside, to rescind a written contract wherein the plaintiffs agreed to buy their bus line. The bus line was a private business operating under the authority of the Public Utility Commission and consisted of transporting school children to and from their homes and Overbrook High School, Beeber Junior High School and Gompers Elementary School, all in the Overbrook section of the City of Philadelphia.
In their complaint the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants made untruthful statements about their
business and that these statements were the inducements which caused the plaintiffs to agree to purchase the defendants' business. The chancellor found for the plaintiffs. The defendants appealed.
Briefly, the facts as found by the chancellor and supported by the record, are as follows. In April, 1957, the defendants, through an authorized agent, represented to the plaintiffs that the defendants were transporting 1110 student fares per day at the rate of 15 cents per fare. This representation was repeated by the defendants to the plaintiffs in the month of June, 1957. The statements did not coincide with the defendants' own books which showed a collection of only 800 total fares during each of the months of April, May, and June, 1957. As late as October, 1957, the month before the sale was consummated, the defendants were deceiving the plaintiffs on the subject of fares collected. Nor were the misstatements in question the result of ignorance or inadvertence. One of the defendants, Albert Rubin, was bookkeeper of the bus company and, therefore, had direct knowledge of the amount of business being done by his firm.
During the period of negotiations between plaintiffs and defendants, the Public Utility Commission granted the defendants an increase in the fare rate. The defendants stated to the plaintiffs that this increase did not in any way reduce the volume of business done by them. The facts were proved to be otherwise.
The whole business structure of the country could be imperiled if the parties could supply deceptive foundations which could not be condemned and removed once the superstructure went into place. The record here reveals numerous failings on the part of the defendants. They not only misstated the total number of fares ...