Appeal, No. 434, Jan. T., 1962, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1961, No. 1214, in case of B. Barry Swedloff and Edward Robinson v. Philadelphia Transportation Company, B. Barry Swedloff and Jack G. Swedloff. Order reversed.
Joseph H. Foster, with him White & Williams, for appellant.
William J. McKinley, Jr., for transportation company, appellee.
Lawrence Corson, with him Eilberg, Meshon & Brener, for appellee.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Cohen, Eagen and O'brien, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BELL
Although the record in this case is filled with contradictions and is extremely confusing, we shall assume, in order to dispose of the questions involved, the following facts which we believe fairly represent the procedural events which actually transpired.
B. Barry Swedloff, the driver of the automobile belonging to his brother, Jack G. Swedloff, and Edward
Robinson, a guest in his automobile, brought an action in trespass against the Philadelphia Transportation Company. This trespass action was instituted on June 21, 1961, 11 1/2 months after Swedloff's automobile collided with a bus owned by the Philadelphia Transportation Company, the original defendant.
The Philadelphia Transportation Company severed B. Barry Swedloff as plaintiff and joined him and Jack G. Swedloff as additional defendants. Jack G. Swedloff had been insured by the American Surety Company. It was alleged that he failed to notify the Surety Company of the accident until after the Philadelphia Transportation Company's complaint to join the Swedloffs as additional defendants had been served upon them, which was over 14 months after the accident.
At the direction of the Surety Company White & Williams, by Richard W. Hopkins, entered an appearance for the additional defendants (the Swedloffs). Thereafter White & Williams, as attorneys for the Swedloffs, addressed interrogatories to Robinson and filed an answer to the complaint of the Philadelphia Transportation Company. Five months after the filing of this answer, White & Williams at the direction of their client, the American Surety Company, filed a petition for a rule on all parties to show cause why they should not be permitted to withdraw their appearance. After a considerable time the Court discharged the rule, because otherwise the plaintiff would have been unduly prejudiced by delay (the case having ...