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SHANE ET UX. v. HOFFMANN (04/03/74)

decided: April 3, 1974.

SHANE ET UX.,
v.
HOFFMANN, ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeals from order and judgment of Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, April T., 1971, No. 2986, in case of Robert J. Shane and Frances M. Shane v. C. J. Hoffmann, Jr., James F. Hoffmann, Urban A. Hoffmann and William J. Hoffmann, individually and t/d/b/a C. J. Hoffmann Agency, Catherine E. Hensch, and Robert H. Hilinski.

COUNSEL

William F. Donatelli, for appellant at No. 431.

Andrew M. Schifino, for appellant at No. 471.

Richard F. Pohl, with him Cauley, Birsic & Conflenti, for appellee.

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

Author: Hoffman

[ 227 Pa. Super. Page 178]

This is an appeal from an order of a court en banc denying appellants' post-trial motions following a judgment

[ 227 Pa. Super. Page 179]

    by the trial court, sitting without a jury, in favor of the plaintiffs-appellees.

The appellant, Catherine E. Hensch, owned a residence located at 313 Taylor Street in Pittsburgh. In 1966, she rented the property to Victor Depofi, who lived at said residence until June, 1970. Sometime prior to June, the appellant listed the property for sale with the C. J. Hoffmann Agency, an appellant herein. During the next few months, James F. Hoffmann, who was employed as a salesman for the agency, showed the property to some 40-50 prospective purchasers. In the fall of 1970, after Depofi had moved out and the property was vacant, Hoffmann showed the appellees the property on three separate occasions. On November 13, 1970, the appellees, in the presence of Mrs. Hensch, James F. Hoffmann and the agency's attorney, concluded settlement of the property.

Approximately a month later, the sewer in the basement of the property backed up, flooding the basement with sewage. At a cost of $2,410.00, the appellees had the basement drained and the sewer repaired. The appellees then instituted suit against the appellants alleging fraud and misrepresentation in the inducement of the real estate contract. After a trial before the Honorable John J. McLean, Jr., sitting without a jury, a verdict was entered in favor of the appellees in the amount of $2,410.00. Post-trial motions were denied by a court en banc, and this appeal followed.

The evidence adduced at trial may be summarized as follows: Mr. and Mrs. Shane testified that they were shown the property while it was vacant. In the course of their visits, they noticed an unusual uncemented portion in the back of the basement. As the sewer lines were located in the rear of the residence, they asked Mr. Hoffmann whether the sewer was in good working ...


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