Appeal from the Order Entered June 24, 1976, of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County at No. 2199 Civil Term 1975, Civil Action--Law
Leslie B. Handler, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Walter W. Wilt, Harrisburg, for appellee.
Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ.
[ 248 Pa. Super. Page 428]
This is an appeal from an order sustaining a demurrer to a complaint against an additional defendant filed pursuant to Rule 2252 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons hereinafter stated we reverse the order and reinstate the complaint. The issue arises out of these circumstances:
The trustee in bankruptcy of Lynn F. Myers, Inc., hereinafter the corporation, has sued Farmers Trust Company, hereinafter the bank, in counts sounding in trespass and assumpsit wherein it seeks compensatory and punitive compensation for financial losses allegedly suffered by the corporation growing out of the repossession and sale of assets of the corporation by the bank. The bank had made secured loans to the corporation on a line of credit granted prior to the repossession, but terminated the credit, called the loans and sold the assets securing the loan when it became aware of the precarious financial position of the corporation. Bankruptcy ensued.
It is the gravamen of the complaint that the corporation was not in default on its loans at the time of the repossession and sale of its assets securing its loans and that the corporation was forced into bankruptcy as a result of this action, causing it substantial losses both on the forced sale of its property and on its ensuing inability to complete construction work in progress at the time of the bankruptcy.
[ 248 Pa. Super. Page 429]
The trustee in bankruptcy seeks $250,000 in compensatory damages and the same amount as punitive damages.
It is the bank's position that it revoked its line of credit on the basis of knowledge that the corporation was in a failing condition and about to close down, and that these circumstances had been brought about by Lynn F. Myers, the president and owner of the corporation at the time of bankruptcy.
On the basis of these averments the bank filed a complaint against Lynn F. Myers as an additional defendant, averring that the corporation's losses had been caused by the wrongful management of Myers and that the bank had repossessed the machinery and equipment of the corporation with the prior knowledge and consent of Myers. The complaint concluded that if the corporation had suffered damage by being forced into bankruptcy it was either the responsibility of the additional defendant or the additional defendant and the bank jointly.
The trustee in bankruptcy demurred to the complaint against the additional defendant. The demurrer was sustained and the complaint dismissed. It is ...