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SCOTT TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT AUTHORITY v. BRANNA CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION (11/13/62)

November 13, 1962

SCOTT TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT AUTHORITY
v.
BRANNA CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 208, March T., 1962, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1960, No. 350, in case of Scott Township School District Authority v. Branna Construction Corporation. Order affirmed in part and reversed in part.

COUNSEL

Theodore D. Fischer, with him Markel & Markel, for appellant.

David M. Harrision, with him Harrison & Louik, for appellee.

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

Author: Cohen

[ 409 Pa. Page 137]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

Appellee, a school district authority, after advertisement and formal competitive bidding as required by statute, declared appellant-contractor the low bidder of $329,700 for construction of the Foxcraft Elementary School. Work was started in June 1954 in accordance

[ 409 Pa. Page 138]

    with the plans and specifications as advertised. The school was finished and occupied in September 1955 and all but $3,234 was paid on the contract.*fn1 One year later appellant made a claim for extra work performed in the construction of the school. When appellee resisted this claim, appellant obtained an order from the court below directing that the controversy be submitted to arbitration as provided in the contract between the parties.

The three arbitrators were presented with eleven claims by appellant for extra work done under the contract and with three counterclaims by appellee.*fn2 By a vote of two to one, they found merit in eight of appellant's claims and awarded it $21,366.26. By the same vote, they denied all of appellee's counterclaims.

Appellee then filed a timely petition with the court below to correct or modify the arbitration award. The court granted the petition and made two determinations: (1) it disallowed all of appellant's claims for extra work; (2) it granted appellee's claim of $13,248 for recovery of payments made to appellant under the contract. This appeal followed.

We will deal with these rulings of the court below separately because they require different dispositions.

The claims of appellant for extra work performed under the contract were based upon oral change orders. No formal work orders were executed either by the architect or by appellee and no changes were made in the plans or specifications. Thus the issue was raised whether the contract permitted oral change orders and, if it did, whether such ...


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