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BIELLO v. BRYANT ET AL. (04/14/64)

April 14, 1964

BIELLO
v.
BRYANT ET AL., APPELLANTS.



Appeal, No. 127, Oct. T., 1964, from order of County Court of Philadelphia, March T., 1960, No. 497B, in case of Anna Biello v. James W. Bryant et al. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Paul A. Lockrey, with him Sheldon Tabb, for appellants.

John J. Guilfoyle, Jr., with him Perry S. Bechtle, for appellee.

Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).

Author: Wright

[ 203 Pa. Super. Page 176]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

We are here concerned with an appeal from an order of the County Court of Philadelphia in a trespass action sustaining preliminary objections to a complaint against an additional defendant. It will be necessary to detail the factual and procedural situation.

On May 14, 1958, at the intersection of 58th and Pine Streets in the City of Philadelphia, there was a collision between a motor vehicle owned by Herbert Owens and operated by James W. Bryant, and a motor vehicle owned and operated by Julius Biello in which Anna, Lillian, and Dolores Biello and Sophia Felice were passengers. On March 9, 1960, a trespass action was instituted by the occupants of the Biello vehicle against Bryant and Owens. On December 23, 1960, the case was placed on the jury list. On January 8, 1963, the defendants filed an answer containing new matter purporting to join Julius Biello as additional defendant. On February 28, 1963, preliminary objections were filed to the new matter on the ground that the attempted joinder was untimely under the provisions of Pa. R.C.P. No. 2253.*fn1 On April 15, 1963, these preliminary objections were sustained.

The instant appeal arises out of the following circumstance. The original complaint averred in paragraph two that the motor vehicle operated by Bryant collided with the automobile of Julius Biello. On July

[ 203 Pa. Super. Page 1779]

, 1963, by stipulation apparently prepared by counsel for defendants, paragraph two was amended by the insertion after the words "Julius Biello" of the words "which automobile was proceeding westwardly on Pine Street". On September 6, 1963, the defendants filed a complaint against Julius Biello as additional defendant. On September 26, 1963, preliminary objections were filed to this complaint and, on December 16, 1963, these preliminary objections were sustained. This appeal followed.

Appellants take the position that Pa. R.C.P. No. 2253 permits the joinder of an additional defendant within sixty days after any amendment of the complaint, however accomplished and regardless of its materiality. Our lower courts have generally felt obliged to adopt this literal interpretation of the rule,*fn2 but not without some reluctance. In Stauffer v. Sutton, 17 Pa.D. C.2d 26, President Judge HENNINGER said: "Our sympathies are entirely with the proposition presented by additional defendant ... Unfortunately, we are compelled to permit the joinder". In similar vein is the comment of Judge KELLEY in Carlson v. Hickey, 29 Pa. D. & C.2d 693: "We are unfortunately compelled to permit the joinder". We respectfully suggest that this matter might well be reconsidered by the Procedural Rules Committee.

Howbeit, it is our view that the case at bar does not call for a literal interpretation of the rule. It presents a different procedural situation. The distinguishing feature is that a previous effort by ...


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