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WASHIK v. CHASE (ET AL. (12/11/74)

decided: December 11, 1974.

WASHIK
v.
CHASE (ET AL., APPELLANT)



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, March T., 1970, No. 5044, in case of Leonard Washik v. George Allen Chase, Ward and Cromie, Inc., International Harvester Company, and Bendix-Westinghouse Automotive Air-Brake Company.

COUNSEL

Edward R. Paul, with him Joseph G. Manta, and LaBrum and Doak, for appellant.

Melvin Alan Bank, with him John J. D'Angelo, and Bank & Minehart, for appellee.

Charles A. Harad, with him Frank X. O'Brien, and Steinberg and Girsh, for appellees.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Spaeth, J.

Author: Spaeth

[ 231 Pa. Super. Page 379]

The issue in this case is a narrow one: In a compulsory arbitration case,*fn1 where one defendant loses and another wins, what is the effect of an appeal by the defendant who loses so far as the defendant who wins is concerned?

[ 231 Pa. Super. Page 380]

This litigation arose out of an accident in which an automobile driven by the plaintiff, Leonard Washik, was struck in the rear by a truck. In the first count of his complaint Washik alleged negligence on the part of Ward and Cromie, Inc., the owner of the truck, George Chase, its driver, International Harvester Co., Inc. (appellant), the manufacturer of the truck, and Bendix-Westinghouse Automotive Air-Brake Co., the manufacturer of its brakes; in a second count he alleged strict liability on the part of International and Bendix. Bendix cross-claimed against Ward & Cromie and Chase; no cross-claim was filed against International.

The arbitration resulted in the following "Report and Award of Arbitrators:" "In favor of plaintiff in the amount of $7,000. and against the defendants CHASE and WARD & CROMIE, INC. In favor of defendants INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER CO., INC. and BENDIX-WESTINGHOUSE AUTOMOTIVE AIR-BRAKE CO., and against the plaintiff." Ward & Cromie and Chase then filed in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia an appeal "from the Report and Award of Arbitrators." No other appeals were filed. After the statutory period for filing an appeal had expired, appellant filed a motion to confirm the arbitrators' award and for entry of judgment in its favor and against the plaintiff. Judge Hirsh denied the motion, holding that the appeal filed by Ward & Cromie and Chase acted with respect to the arbitrators' entire award, including appellant's victory over the plaintiff. We agree and affirm.

Rule VI(B) of the Philadelphia Rules for Compulsory Arbitration provides that all appeals from arbitration awards will be de novo. This rule has been cited as supporting both appellees and appellant. On behalf of appellees it is contended that " de novo " means "that upon appeal the parties [must] be in the same

[ 231 Pa. Super. Page 381]

    position that they were in the original case . . . ." Appellee Washik's Brief at 8. Appellant contends (as we understand its position) that " de novo " means that at the trial level the case must be regarded as though it had never existed before. So regarded, the case at the trial level is between the plaintiff and the two defendants who appealed. Those two defendants are not in an adversary relationship to appellant. The plaintiff sued appellant originally, and could ...


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