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CASTELLUCCI ET UX. v. COLUMBIA GAS PENNSYLVANIA (09/19/73)

decided: September 19, 1973.

CASTELLUCCI ET UX., APPELLANTS,
v.
COLUMBIA GAS OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC.



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, April T., 1965, No. 462, in case of Joseph A. and Louise D. Castellucci, his wife, v. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc., formerly Manufacturers Light and Heat Company.

COUNSEL

Frank J. Kernan, with him Plowman and Spiegel, for appellants.

Clyde W. Armstrong, with him Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Spaulding, J.

Author: Spaulding

[ 226 Pa. Super. Page 289]

This is an action in ejectment. Appellants Joseph A. Castellucci and Louise D., his wife, brought this action against appellee Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc., alleging that appellee had constructed a pipeline outside of an easement described in a right of way agreement between appellee and appellants' predecessor in title. The case was tried without a jury before Judge Price of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny

[ 226 Pa. Super. Page 290]

County. On April 19, 1972, the court found for appellee Columbia Gas, and on October 16, 1972, ordered appellants' exceptions dismissed and entered judgment for the appellee. Appellants appeal from this order.

In 1960, Columbia Gas decided to replace a pipeline which it had maintained for some time through the property involved here with a new one, and following completion, to abandon the old line.*fn1 The new course through the tract was plotted in March 1960, and a right of way agreement was prepared and presented to the owner, Mrs. Minnie Yahres, appellants' predecessor in title. Appellant Joseph Castellucci, who was negotiating with Mrs. Yahres for the purchase of the property, objected to the location of the proposed new easement. To avoid jeopardizing the sale, Mrs. Yahres suggested that appellee's employee meet with Castellucci to work out an acceptable path for the pipeline.

On May 27, 1960, the day after the appellant and appellee's representatives met at the property site, Mrs. Yahres signed a revised right of way agreement, which was recorded on August 30, 1960. The agreement stated, inter alia, that it was: ". . . an easement or right of way to construct a 8 inch or smaller pipeline and appurtenant equipment . . . over and through all that certain tract of land . . . sketch attached hereto and made a part hereof."

The sketch was drawn to a scale of one inch equals two hundred feet, allowing the entire 4.8 acres to be represented on a portion of a sheet of "legal size" paper, within a space five inches by two inches. There were three lines drawn on the sketch cutting through the property which were identified as pipelines and labeled,

[ 226 Pa. Super. Page 291]

"to be abandoned", "proposed gas line", and "approximate ...


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