stated in Henry, 'Pennsylanvia Evidence,' Sec. 48:
'But evidence of the price paid for particular pieces of land in the vicinity is not competent evidence of value, even on cross examination, since such price may not represent the intrinsic worth of the land or the general public estimate, which is the criterion of value, but may have been paid as the result of fancy or caprice of the purchaser, and to admit the evidence would necessitate the admission of evidence in rebuttal concerning such particular tracts in order to determine whether or not the price received fairly represented the value of the property, thus introducing in evidence as many collateral issues as there are tracts.'
Cases in which an owner has been required to state on cross-examination the price which he paid for the very land whose market value was in controversy, are obviously not in point. See, Rea v. Pittsburg & C. Railroad Company, 1910, 229 Pa. 106, 117, 78 A. 73; Greenfield v. City of Philadelphia, 1925, 282 Pa. 344, 351, 127 A. 768; Walnut Street Federal Savings & Loan Ass'n v. Bernstein, 1959, 394 Pa. 353, 356, 147 A.2d 359.
Since plaintiffs failed to establish the fair market value of the premises at the time of the breach, it is clear that they may not recover damages for the loss of their bargain.
There appears to be no dispute that plaintiffs regularly met their interest payments on the unpaid purchase price during the entire period of their occupancy. Plaintiffs, therefore, are clearly entitled to the return of their payments on account of the purchase price. Interest on the unpaid purchase price ordinarily is the quid pro quo for possession and enjoyment by the purchaser. 'The estate and the purchase money are things mutually exclusive, and neither party can at the same time be entitled to both:' Leafgreen v. Drake's Exrs., 1930, 300 Pa. 369, 150 A. 656, 657, 75 A.L.R. 312. The jural relations created by the contract of sale, and the mutual rights and obligations of the parties thereunder, are governed by familiar legal principles. See, Sladkin v. Greene, 1948, 359 Pa. 528, 530, 59 A.2d 105, 107:
"The vendor is regarded as a trustee of the land for the benefit of the purchaser, and liable to account to him for rents and profits, or for the value of the use and occupation, and the purchaser is treated as trustee of the purchase money unpaid and charged with interest thereon, unless the purchase money has been appropriated, and no benefit has accrued from it to the purchaser':'
Plaintiffs also sought to recover for the loss of anticipated profits. However, no competent evidence was offered on this issue, and it is our understanding that plaintiffs have abandoned the claim.
Counsel have stipulated that the Stauffers expended the sum of $ 754.34 in payment of real estate taxes, water and sewer rents and electric bills, all of which were plaintiffs' obligations under the contract of sale, and were referable to plaintiffs' occupancy of the premises. The Stauffer defendants are clearly entitled to recover on their counterclaim for these items.
It appears undisputed that the fair market value of plaintiffs' personal property converted by defendants Stauffer and Lawrence, at the time of the conversion, was $ 1,002.07. The measure of damages is 'the value of the goods at the time of the conversion, to which the jury may add interest up to the date of the verdict, unless there are unusual circumstances attendant upon the conversion or detention, such as willful wrong, fraud or outrage, when the jury may give more.' Withrow v. Walker, 1909, 41 Pa.Supp. 155. We think plaintiffs will be adequately compensated by an award of the value of the goods with interest, and that the facts do not call for an award of punitive damages.
Conclusions of Law
1. Plaintiffs are entitled to damages against defendants Stauffer in the sum of $ 6,467.22, with interest thereon from November 14, 1957.
2. Defendants Stauffer are entitled to damages against plaintiffs in the sum of $ 757.34, with interest thereon from November 14, 1957.
3. Plaintiffs are entitled to damages against defendants Stauffer and Lawrence in the sum of $ 1,002.07, with interest thereon from November 14, 1957.
Counsel will, within 30 days, prepare and submit a proposed form of judgment.
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