however, and awarded plaintiff its value.
However, it would have been error to have submitted to the jury the claim for punitive damages. It must be shown that a defendant acted in a fraudulent or outrageous manner with the purpose of harassing or oppressing a plaintiff before punitive damages may be awarded, see Pittsburgh Outdoor Advertising Co. v. Virginia Manor Apartments, Inc., 436 Pa. 350, 260 A. 2d 801 (1970); Chambers v. Montgomery, 411 Pa. 339, 192 A. 2d 355 (1963); Restatement of Torts, Second, § 908.
The record in the plaintiff's case was clear that Deere acted after deliberation and in good faith and after having seen the lease from their dealer to Westmoreland Paving Company and after having attempted to determine the true state of the title and after having been told by Babich himself that he had leased the equipment. Immediately after repossession Deere again made every effort to learn the facts so that any mistake could be rectified. Their representatives were met with hostility. In fact the conduct of Babich based upon his own testimony was so hostile that it appeared to be unreasonable. In our view the action of Deere was not outrageous nor even improper.
On the issue of consequential damages the law of Pennsylvania is well settled that in an action for innocent conversion of personalty the damages are to be measured by the value of the property at the time of the taking plus interest to the time of recovery, see Wolfe v. Pennsylvania Co., etc., 322 Pa. 344, 185 A. 292 (1936); Plack v. Baumer, 121 F.2d 676 (3d Cir. 1941); 37 P.L.E. Trespass, § 111; Hill v. Canfield, 56 Pa. 454 (1867); Drennen v. Charles, 12 Pa. Super. 476 (1900). The case upon which plaintiff relies, Stone v. C.I.T. Corp., 122 Pa. Super. 71, 184 A. 674 (1936) is not controlling in our opinion.
Even though we had disregarded the rule set forth above there was no basis in plaintiff's case upon which the claim for consequential damages could have been submitted to the jury. The Vice President of Westmoreland Paving Company had clearly contradicted the testimony of Babich that Westmoreland Paving had leased the machinery for one year. He said that only he, or his superior, could approve leases and that the only lease he had approved was a month to month lease and when November had come Westmoreland had no further use for the equipment. In fact, we repeat, the November rental had never been paid prior to repossession of the equipment on November 22, 1969.
The remaining assignments of error require no comment.
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