Appeal from judgments and order of Court of Common Pleas No. 2 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1960, No. 3456, in case of Howard L. Bleman v. Nathan Gold, Shirley Gold, Nate Kaplan et al.
Howard Bleman, appellant, in propria persons.
Nicholas M. D'Alessandro and Mansfield C. Neal, Jr., Assistant City Solicitors, Matthew W. Bullock, Jr., Second Deputy City Solicitor, and Edward G. Bauer, Jr., City Solicitor, for City of Philadelphia, appellee.
Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Justice Roberts concurs in the result.
Appellant, Howard Bleman, instituted a trespass action for property damage to two adjacent buildings owned by him in the City of Philadelphia. At the conclusion of appellant's case, the trial judge entered a compulsory non-suit against appellant and in favor of appellees, Nathan Gold and Shirley Gold. At the conclusion of all the evidence, the trial judge directed a verdict against appellant and in favor of appellee, City of Philadelphia. The case proceeded to the jury against the appellee, Nate Kaplan, and the jury returned a verdict against appellant and in favor of Nate Kaplan. Appellant's motions for a new trial, judgment n.o.v., and to take off the non-suit were refused and judgment
entered on the verdicts of the jury; this appeal followed.
Bleman was the owner of two three-story buildings located at 459 and 461 North Fourth Street, Philadelphia, and the Golds were the owners of the adjoining premises at 457 North Fourth Street. The second and third floors of the Bleman property at 459 were connected by a party wall with the Gold property. At the first floor level were a chimney and alleyway, the respective walls of which comprised the first floor side walls of 459 and 457.
Appellant's evidence disclosed that on June 26, 1959, while he was inside his premises at 459, a crash which sounded like an explosion took place. Appellant ran outside and saw bricks piled up in the alleyway. He went into Gold's property at 457 and saw a large hole four feet high and eight feet wide where the bricks had been blown out of the chimney and alleyway wall at the first floor of 457. Appellant's experts testified that this so weakened the support for the party wall between 457 and 459 as to cause that wall to collapse on August 4, 1959. Thereafter, on September 11, 1959, while the Philadelphia Gas Company and Visco Brothers were digging in the street, laying gas mains and sewers, the remainder of the properties at both 457 and 459 collapsed completely, apparently doing some damage to 461 in the process.
Appellant's claim against the Golds was founded on the theory that their negligence in maintaining the property at 457 caused the damage to appellant's property. Nate Kaplan's alleged liability was predicated on his alleged negligence in demolishing 457 and 459, damaging 461 in the process. Finally, the City was sought to be held for the entire liability because of its failure to correct or cause to be corrected the hazardous situation on the Golds' property, and for the damages
caused by Nate Kaplan on a respondeat ...