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SCHLADENSKY v. ELLIS (03/25/71)

decided: March 25, 1971.

SCHLADENSKY
v.
ELLIS, APPELLANT. BINGNEAR V. ELLIS, APPELLANT



Appeals from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Feb. T., 1969, Nos. 3636 and 3637, in case of Patricia Schladensky, administratrix of estate of Edward William Schladensky, deceased v. Jerome H. Ellis and Mobile Industrial Equipment Corp. and Lift-O-Loft Corporation; Joseph V. Bingnear v. Jerome H. Ellis and Mobile Industrial Equipment Corp. and Lift-O-Loft Corporation.

COUNSEL

James J. McCabe, with him David T. Sykes, and Duane, Morris & Heckscher, for appellant.

J. Paul Erwin, Jr., with him White and Williams, for appellee.

Joseph G. Manta, with him William B. Freilich, James M. Marsh, and LaBrum and Doak, for appellee.

Lawrence E. Grant and Richter, Syken, Ross, Binder & O'Neill, for appellee.

Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen. Mr. Chief Justice Bell took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the decision of this case.

Author: Eagen

[ 442 Pa. Page 473]

William Schladensky and Joseph Bingnear, employees of the General Electric Company in Philadelphia, were injured on November 6, 1965, allegedly when a hydraulic lift on which they were working malfunctioned. The lift which caused these injuries was manufactured by Lift-O-Loft Corporation, an Indiana concern; sold by the latter to Mobile Industrial Equipment Corporation which in turn sold it to General Electric.

Schladensky and Bingnear retained Jerome H. Ellis, Esq., as their attorney, and he told them that suits would be instituted both against the manufacturer of the lift [Lift-O-Loft] and the company which sold and serviced the machinery [Mobile]. But such actions were never instituted.

On February 14, 1969, Bingnear and the administratrix of Schladensky's estate*fn1 instituted these malpractice suits against Attorney Ellis for the loss suffered as a result of his "negligent failure to bring timely suit". On April 18, 1969, Ellis caused writs to issue joining Lift-O-Loft and Mobile as additional defendants in the actions averring that their negligence in placing the defective and dangerous hydraulic lift into the field of commerce, and breach of express and implied warranties in connection with the sale thereof, rendered these corporate defendants liable for the injuries suffered by Bingnear and Schladensky on November 6, 1965. Preliminary objections to the Ellis complaint filed by Lift-O-Loft and Mobile alleging misjoinder of causes of action were sustained by the court below. Ellis then filed these appeals.

The actions against Ellis were commenced on February 14, 1969. The writs of joinder were issued on April

[ 442 Pa. Page 47418]

, 1969 and Ellis' third-party complaint was filed on ...


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