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BALLINGER v. HOWELL MANUFACTURING COMPANY (05/07/62)

May 7, 1962

BALLINGER
v.
HOWELL MANUFACTURING COMPANY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 313, Jan. T., 1961, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Sept. T., 1957, No. 58, in case of Robert I. Ballinger, Valentine B. Lee, Jr., Robert I. Ballinger, Jr. et al. v. Howell Manufacturing Company. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

David Berger, with him Lewis Kates, for appellant.

W. Edward Greenwood, with him Schumaker & Lunkenheimer, and Gawthrop & Greenwood, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 407 Pa. Page 320]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

This is an appeal from the entry of judgment after an order of the court en banc dismissing exceptions by the defendant-appellant, Howell Manufacturing Company, to the decision and verdict of the trial court and entering judgment in favor of appellee, Ballinger.

Appellee brought its action of assumpsit to recover a fee for architectural services rendered in designing an industrial plant for appellant. Prior to trial, the

[ 407 Pa. Page 321]

    parties filed a stipulation wherein they dispensed with a jury trial, waived the requirement of findings of fact and conclusions of law, and agreed to the entry of a general verdict and decision by the trial court.

Many of the facts surrounding the dealings of the parties are in dispute. Those facts which are incontroverted reveal the following background:

Appellant, a corporation engaged in the manufacture of wood and metal doors and related products, was obliged to move its plant from Philadelphia as a result of condemnation of its property. Appellant decided to construct new facilities in Chester County at a cost not to exceed $250,000. Appellee, a firm of architects and engineers, solicited, and, following several conferences with one Brennan, appellant's president, and after inspection of the old plant, secured an architectural contract for the design of appellant's new facilities.

Appellee's formal proposal of services was embodied in a letter sent to Brennan who subsequently accepted the proposed terms. The letter outlined the various architectural services which appellee would furnish, and provided, in pertinent part, for reimbursement on the following basis: "Direct cost of architectural draftsmen, engineers and accountant, plus 100% of such cost for overhead and office supervision, plus 10% of total cost for profit." A covering letter which accompanied the proposal contained the following paragraph: "If you approve preliminary plans and specifications as presented with slight modifications, we estimate that our total charges to you, based on the attached cost-plus agreement, and without supervision of construction, will run ...


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