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NATIONAL MARITIME UNION AMERICA v. PASCHALEDES ET AL. (06/15/60)

June 15, 1960

NATIONAL MARITIME UNION OF AMERICA, C.I.O.
v.
PASCHALEDES ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeal, No. 159, April T., 1959, from judgment of County Court of Allegheny County, No. 573 of 1954, in case of National Maritime Union of America, C.I.O., et al. v. Taystee Bar-B-Q Corporation et al. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

James H. Brennan, with him T. Robert Brennan, Paul R. Obert, and Brennan and Brennan, for appellants.

James Craig Kuhn, Jr., with him Arnold D. Wilner, and Wilner, Wilner and Kuhn, for appellee.

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

Author: Gunther

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 363]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

This appeal is from the judgment and order of the court below directing appellants, Leon Paschaledes and Georgia L. Paschaledes to pay electric bills covering a period of 33 months on the theory of unjust enrichment.

Plaintiff, National Maritime Union of America, C.I.O., filed a complaint in assumpsit in the County Court of Allegheny County to obtain restitution in the sum of $2,007.53 for electricity consumed at premises known as 118-122 Sixth Street in the City of Pittsburgh covering a period from July 1950 through April, 1953, during the time Leon Paschaledes and Georgia L. Paschaledes were the owners and lessors of the premises. The suit included not only appellants but also Taystee Bar-B-Q Corporation (whose stock was owned entirely by Turner, Devoe and Ross), Earl Turner, Chester M. Devoe and Louis H. Ross, individually and trading as Turner, Devoe and Ross, and Duquesne Light Company. At the conclusion of the case, all parties were absolved from liability except appellants, Leon Paschaledes and Georgia L. Paschaledes.

Plaintiff union maintains its national headquarters in New York City and has branch offices in leading ports throughout the United States including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On or about October 20, 1948, plaintiff leased from Taystee Bar-B-Q Corporation for a term of five years office space located at 124 Sixth Street. Taystee Bar-B-Q was a tenant for this entire building and had a right to sublet any portion thereof. The property at 124 Sixth Street was managed by the partnership referred to above. The lease provided that electrical current used by the plaintiff union would be

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 364]

    paid by Taystee Bar-B-Q. This building (124 Sixth Street) was owned by an individual named Monteverde. The premises known as 118-122 was owned by the partnership which controlled Taystee Bar-B-Q Corporation.

From December 13, 1948 to April 14, 1953, the entire electric bill for both buildings was made out by Duquesne Light Company in the name of Turner, Devoe and Ross but, for some reason not explained in the record, these bills found their way into the national office of the maritime union, which paid the bills under the mistaken assumption that it was obligated for them. Subsequent to April 14, 1953, an investigation was started by the national union and it discovered that these bills for electricity should have been paid by others connected with said buildings. By this time, the national union paid out a total of $3,161.30.

On July 27, 1950, the building known as 118-122 was sold by Turner, Devoe and Ross to appellants, at which time all leases covering occupancies in that building were assigned to appellants. At the same time, the electrical supply for the branch office of the maritime union, which previously had been connected to a meter servicing tenants (including the partnership of Turner, Devoe and Ross) in the building at 118-122 Sixth Street, was disconnected and immediately hooked up to the meter of Taystee Bar-B-Q Corporation which serviced the ...


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