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HAGY v. PREMIER MANUFACTURING CORPORATION (06/26/61)

June 26, 1961

HAGY
v.
PREMIER MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 153, March T., 1961, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1961, No. 1822, in case of John T. Hagy v. Premier Manufacturing Corporation. Order reversed.

COUNSEL

David B. Buerger, with him Robert L. Frantz, and Buchanan, Ingersoll, Rodewald, Kyle & Buerger, for appellant.

T. W. Pomeroy, Jr., with him Samuel K. McCune, Michael F. Butler, and Kirkpatrick, Pomeroy, Lockhart & Johnson, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 404 Pa. Page 331]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL.

This is an appeal from an Order granting a preliminary mandatory injunction to compel Defendant Corporation, appellant herein, to allow Plaintiff Hagy to examine, under all the facts and circumstances here present, all of its corporate records and documents.

Motion to Quash

At the outset we are met with plaintiff's motion to quash this appeal on the ground that the Order entered by the Court below is not appealable. It is hornbook law that an order granting or refusing a preliminary

[ 404 Pa. Page 332]

    injunction is appealable: Dozor Agency v. Rosenberg, 403 Pa. 237, 240, 169 A.2d 771. However, plaintiff argues that although he demanded a preliminary injunction at trial and the Court below issued one, the inspection of corporate records involved herein is really in the nature of "discovery" and hence unappealable. This position is untenable for two reasons.

First, the discovery provisions*fn1 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure allow only limited inspection. Rule 4007(a) requires that such discovery must be "relevant to the subject matter involved in the action." It requires no prolonged analysis to conclude that a demand "to examine any and all corporate records and documents" without regard to their relevancy as prayed for in plaintiff's complaint is not within the scope of this rule. Even more importantly, Rule 4011 provides: "No discovery or inspection shall be permitted which (a) is sought in bad faith; (b) causes unreasonable annoyance, embarrassment, expense or oppression to the deponent or any person or party;..." Although this Rule has never been judicially interpreted in this connection, we agree with the text writers*fn2 that discovery which would reveal confidential information or trade secrets to a competitor, as in this case, should not be allowed.

Secondly, the nature of the right which plaintiff seeks and which is given by ยง 308B of the Business Corporation Law of May 5, 1933,*fn3 is properly enforceable by the legal action of mandamus or as here ...


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