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COMMONWEALTH TO USE ROGER E. GERHART v. COOPERSMITH BROS. (01/04/67)

SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: January 4, 1967.

COMMONWEALTH TO USE OF ROGER E. GERHART, INC.
v.
COOPERSMITH BROS., INC., APPELLANT

Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, May T., 1963, No. 11, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to use of Roger E. Gerhart, Inc. v. Coopersmith Bros., Inc. and Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.

COUNSEL

Robert Ruppin, with him Marshall M. Cohen, for appellants.

John Milton Ranck, with him George J. Morgan, and Appel, Ranck, Herr & Appel, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 423 Pa. Page 608]

This is an appeal by defendants from a judgment entered on a verdict in favor of the use plaintiff. Action was brought by the Commonwealth to the use of Roger E. Gerhart, Inc., the sub-contractor (appellee) against Coopersmith Bros., Inc., the contractor, and Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, the contractor's

[ 423 Pa. Page 609]

    surety (appellants) to recover for work done under a contract for the construction of a highway and bridge.

The main issue on appeal concerns the admission in evidence of the contents of a telephone conversation between appellee's president and a third party as to the credit rating of Coopersmith. Appellants contend that such testimony was hearsay and inadmissible. We agree.

Appellee's president testified that after a telephone conversation with the third party he repeated to Coopersmith's foreman the contents of that conversation. He then proceeded to testify, against vigorous objection, that he had told the foreman that the other party to the telephone conversation had said that Coopersmith's credit was bad and that it was risky to extend credit to Coopersmith.

This case clearly falls within the general rule that verbal or written statements or declarations which are self-serving and are made in the absence of the other party to the transaction are inadmissible as hearsay evidence. Ulansey v. Juniata Park Medical Center, Inc., 406 Pa. 389, 392, 178 A.2d 547, 548 (1962) and authorities cited therein.

Judgment reversed and new trial granted.

Disposition

Judgment reversed.

19670104

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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