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BRANDYWINE AREA JOINT SCHOOL AUTHORITY v. VANCOR (09/26/67)

decided: September 26, 1967.

BRANDYWINE AREA JOINT SCHOOL AUTHORITY
v.
VANCOR, INC., APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, May T., 1964, No. 100, in case of Brandywine Area Joint School Authority v. VanCor, Inc., The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, Joseph Becker et al.

COUNSEL

Jerome Poltenstein, with him Richard Reifsnyder, and MacElree, Platt, Marrone & Harvey, for appellants.

James S. Kilpatrick, Jr., with him Haws and Burke, for appellee.

William H. Lowery, with him Arthur W. Leibold, Jr., and Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien.

Author: O'brien

[ 426 Pa. Page 449]

Brandywine Area Joint School Authority filed an action of assumpsit against VanCor, Inc., and its surety, The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company. Brandywine

[ 426 Pa. Page 450]

    had entered into a construction contract with VanCor, covering the construction of three elementary schools. Contained in the contract was a provision requiring VanCor to remedy any defects, discovered within one year of completion, caused by defective materials or workmanship. In addition, the contract provided a longer period for the discovery of defects where the work was to be performed by subcontractors, and guarantees were required in the specifications for such longer periods.

After completion of the construction and final payment of the contract price, Brandywine discovered persistent roof leaks in the school structures and made a demand upon VanCor and its surety, Aetna, for correction of the alleged construction defects causing the leaks. VanCor and Aetna attempted to join a number of other parties as additional defendants. Among these were Buchart Associates and Camden Lime Company. Buchart was the architect who, under contract with Brandywine, had prepared the plans and specifications which formed the basis for the construction contract between Brandywine and VanCor. Camden Lime was a subcontractor which, under contract with VanCor, provided and installed precast concrete roof slabs for the construction jobs.

The additional defendant's complaint against Buchart alleged that Buchart had negligently designed the subject structures, and that this improper design was the cause of any deficiencies complained of by Brandywine. The complaint against Camden Lime alleged that Camden Lime had not supplied proper roof slabs, and that it negligently installed them. In essence, VanCor and Aetna alleged that if they were liable to Brandywine, either or both of these additional defendants were jointly liable or solely liable to Brandywine.

Both Buchart and Camden Lime filed preliminary objections to the complaints ...


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