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BRUNSWICK CORPORATION v. CIAFFONI ET AL. (11/12/68)

decided: November 12, 1968.

BRUNSWICK CORPORATION
v.
CIAFFONI ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, May T., 1962, No. 480, in case of Brunswick Corporation et al. v. Paul Ciaffoni et al.

COUNSEL

Thomas O. White, with him Milton D. Rosenberg, and Bloom, Bloom, Rosenberg & Bloom, for appellants.

John G. Buchanan, Jr., with him William R. Newlin, and Buchanan, Ingersoll, Rodewald, Kyle & Buerger, for appellees.

Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien. Mr. Chief Justice Bell took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Mr. Justice Musmanno did not participate in the decision of this case. Concurring Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen. Mr. Justice Jones joins in this opinion. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts.

Author: O'brien

[ 432 Pa. Page 444]

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, awarding personal property to the plaintiff-appellees.

One Isadore Toder, under an agreement dated July 30, 1960, leased certain property from appellants, Paul Ciaffoni and Peter Ciaffoni, who owned the property as tenants in common. Under a Rider Agreement which formed part of the lease and which was signed by both

[ 432 Pa. Page 445]

    appellant landlords, the lease was assigned to McDonald Bowl, Inc. (McDonald), a corporation formed by Toder to start a bowling alley. The lease was for a term of ten years, for a total rent of $119,520, payable $11,520 at signing of the lease and $1,000 per month. It provided, in case of default, for confession of judgment, and in the event of default, bankruptcy, or insolvency, for the entire balance of the rent to become due and payable. Provision was made permitting the lessor to distrain for rent on all property found on the premises.

However, the rider provided that a landlord's waiver of the right to distrain in a form as was attached would be executed in order to permit the tenant to finance the purchase of bowling alleys and equipment. The attached form was an unexecuted general form of waiver covering Brunswick automatic pinsetters and naming as the protected seller Brunswick Automatic Pinsetter Corporation. The only waiver that was executed was to the benefit of Brunswick Corporation and was signed only by Paul Ciaffoni and his wife, and acknowledged on September 16, 1960.

McDonald proceeded to purchase under conditional sales contracts a great deal of bowling equipment from Brunswick Corporation and Brunswick Automatic Pinsetter Corporation. These corporations filed proper financing statements and became secured creditors. McDonald then defaulted in its obligations to both Brunswick corporations and to the landlords.

On May 3, 1962, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, McDonald was adjudicated a bankrupt. On July 5, 1962, the Referee in Bankruptcy entered an order that appellees were "entitled to take possession of the personal property" that is here in dispute. When ...


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