Appeals from order of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, Nov. T., 1972, No. 2740, in case of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia v. The American Arbitration Association; Appeals of J. J. White, Inc., Herman Goldner Company, and W. V. Pangborne & Co., Inc., Intervenors.
Arthur L. Pressman, with him Robert F. Cushman, for appellant, at No. 1890.
F. Warren Jacoby, with him Myron Jacoby, Cornelius C. O'Brien, Jr., and G. Sander Davis, for appellants, at Nos. 1891 and 1892.
John F. Wilson, III, with him William H. Lowery, and Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellee.
Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Van der Voort, J. Hoffman, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case. Concurring Opinion by Spaeth, J.
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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia filed a motion in the Court of Common Pleas asking that the American Arbitration Association be ordered to consolidate two arbitration disputes arising under construction contracts for a new hospital. The appellants intervened in the proceedings and contested the consolidation. The Court of Common Pleas ordered that arbitration of the disputes be consolidated and this appeal followed.
In connection with the construction of the project, The Children's Hospital had entered into four contracts with four prime contractors, (one) with Baltimore Contractors, Inc. for the general work, (two) with J. J. White, Inc. for the heating and ventilating work, (three) with W. V. Pangborne & Company, Inc. for the electrical work, and (four), with Herman Goldner Co., Inc. for the plumbing work. Each prime contract contained identical provisions with respect to General Conditions. One of these conditions was paragraph 10.1.1 which provides as follows: "The Contractor shall
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be responsible for initiating, maintaining and supervising all safety precautions and programs in connection with the work."
The four Contractors being uncertain as to the allocation of responsibility for the safety precautions jointly requested the Architect for an interpretation of Article 10.1.1 to determine their respective responsibilities for them. The Architect's determinations included the following: "[t]hat protection required by law and regulations regarding safety barriers at edges of and penetrations through floors is part of the General Contractor's work."
The General Contractor disputed this interpretation, and filed a written demand for arbitration against the Hospital with the American Arbitration Association as arbitrator, alleging that it had spent $110,594.08 in providing safety measures for the project and claiming that the other prime Contractors were responsible for a portion of the cost of this work. The Hospital in writing, called upon Contractors 2, 3 and 4, the Intervenors, to defend the arbitration proceeding which defense the Intervenors refused. The Hospital then demanded of the Intervenors arbitration of the dispute with the American Arbitration Association and asked the Association to join the Intervenors as additional defendants to the arbitration proceedings brought by the General Contractor.
The American Arbitration Association replied to the Hospital's demand that "inasmuch as these parties will not agree to be joined in this matter, the Association does not have the authority to make these parties a part of the proceedings." Upon receiving this communication from the American Arbitration Association, the Hospital filed its motion for consolidation of arbitration ...