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GRAHAM v. GREATER LATROBE SCHOOL DISTRICT (01/09/70)

decided: January 9, 1970.

GRAHAM
v.
GREATER LATROBE SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Jan. T., 1968, No. 506, in case of Cecelia E. Graham v. Greater Latrobe School District et al.

COUNSEL

Raymond G. Hasley, with him Gary H. McQuone, and Rose, Schmidt & Dixon, for appellant.

Charles A. Schneider, with him Wayman, Irvin, Trushel & McAuley, for appellee.

H. Reginald Belden, Jr., with him H. Reginald Belden, and Stewart, Belden, Sensenich & Herrington, for appellee.

Daniel J. Snyder, with him Henry A. Hudson, and Costello & Snyder, for appellee.

Christ. C. Walthour, Jr., with him Kunkle, Walthour and Garland, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Cohen. Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Justice Jones and Mr. Justice Pomeroy join in this dissent.

Author: Cohen

[ 436 Pa. Page 441]

On February 8, 1968, a complaint in trespass was filed in the court below against the Greater Latrobe School District, the original defendant therein and appellant here. Through that complaint, Cecelia Graham seeks to recover damages allegedly incurred as a result

[ 436 Pa. Page 442]

    of injuries sustained in a fall which occurred in a school auditorium owned by appellant. On March 4, 1968, appellant filed preliminary objections to the complaint on the ground that the doctrine of sovereign immunity barred recovery against it. These preliminary objections were decided adversely to appellant by the lower court's order and opinion dated July 2, 1968. Appellant was ordered to file responsive pleadings within twenty days.

Appellant then moved for an extension of time within which to join additional defendants, and such extension was granted by order of the court below on July 16, 1968. Appellant desired to join the additional defendants, appellees herein (Volkwein Brothers, Inc., L-D Building Company, Standard Floor Covering Company, and American Seating Company) because it believed one or more of them could be solely or jointly liable for any damages plaintiff suffered. On August 30, 1968, appellant filed praecipes to join and a complaint against appellees. Appellees then filed preliminary objections in the nature of a motion to strike the complaints against them.*fn1 The bases of such were allegations that joinder had occurred more than sixty days after service of plaintiff's complaint upon appellant; that joinder occurred more than twenty days after the lower court's order of July 2, 1968; and that no notice was given to appellees of appellant's ...


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