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PITTSBURGH OUTDOOR ADVERTISING COMPANY v. VIRGINIA MANOR APARTMENTS (01/09/70)

decided: January 9, 1970.

PITTSBURGH OUTDOOR ADVERTISING COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
VIRGINIA MANOR APARTMENTS, INC. ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeals from decree of Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1968, No. 3803, in case of Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Company v. Virginia Manor Apartments, Inc. et al.

COUNSEL

Gilbert E. Morcroft, for plaintiff.

Maurice B. Wechsler, for defendants.

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

Author: O'brien

[ 436 Pa. Page 350]

Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Company (Outdoor)

[ 436 Pa. Page 351]

    filed an action in equity against Virginia Manor Apartments, Inc. (Virginia Manor), Elias J. Hakim, Leonard McGee, Jr., Inc., and Western Pennsylvania National Bank. Thereafter, with the concurrence of Outdoor, the action was dismissed as to Western Pennsylvania National Bank and Leonard McGee, Jr., Inc., leaving only Virginia Manor and Hakim as defendants.

The suit alleged that Virginia Manor and Hakim, the President of Virginia Manor acting in his individual capacity, had trespassed on land owned by Outdoor, destroying personal property of Outdoor thereon; constructed a sewer line partially on Outdoor's property and dumped a considerable quantity of fill on Outdoor's property. The equity action sought an injunction requiring Virginia Manor and Hakim to remove the fill placed on Outdoor's property and discontinue any further trespasses on Outdoor's property. The action also sought compensatory and punitive damages.

Subsequent to the trial of the equity action the Chancellor filed his adjudication and decree nisi in which he mandatorily enjoined Virginia Manor and Hakim to remove the earth placed by them on Outdoor's property; to cease any further trespasses on Outdoor's property and to proceed at their own expense to secure on Outdoor's behalf and in Outdoor's name all municipal permits required for installation of four new billboards on Outdoor's property. The decree nisi also awarded damages to Outdoor for the value of the billboards allegedly destroyed and for the loss of rental income from those billboards. Outdoor and the defendant filed exceptions to the adjudication and decree nisi. The court en banc dismissed the exceptions and entered the decree nisi as a final decree. Both Outdoor and the defendants below have appealed to this Court.

The factual situation involved and as found by the Chancellor and affirmed by the court en banc may be

[ 436 Pa. Page 352]

    briefly summarized as follows: Outdoor owned a small parcel of land on which it had erected four billboards for rental to advertisers in the ordinary course of Outdoor's business. Virginia Manor owned property adjoining Outdoor's land on which Virginia Manor was in the process of erecting a large apartment complex. Hakim, the President of Virginia Manor, ostensibly acting in his own behalf and not in a representative capacity, contacted an employee of Outdoor and requested that Outdoor's billboards be removed in order that the contractors engaged in the apartment house project might be able to use Outdoor's land in maneuvering heavy construction equipment. Outdoor's employee suggested that the request be put in writing in order that the proper officials of Outdoor might consider it. No such writing was ever received, but on one occasion, an employee of Outdoor met with Virginia Manor's consultant on Outdoor's property, at which time the billboards were intact. About one week later, the billboards were knocked ...


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