Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of Coopers & Lybrand v. Penn State Mutual Insurance Company, Grocers Mutual Insurance Co., Angelica Mutual Insurance Co., Patrons Mutual Insurance Co. and Amherst Insurance Company, No. 5156 January Term, 1975.
Edward J. Marcantonio, with him Swartz, Campbell & Detweiler, for appellants.
Richard C. Rizzo, with him Melvin A. Schwarz, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
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Certified public accountants, Coopers & Lybrand (appellee), brought this action in assumpsit in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County to recover fees of $40,000.00 for the performance of statutory audits of the books and records of five
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 437]
named insurance companies (appellants) allegedly pursuant to Sections 213-216 of The Insurance Department Act of one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one, Act of May 17, 1921, P.L. 789, as amended, 40 P.S. §§ 51-54, and to an agreement between appellee and the Insurance Department directing and authorizing the performance of these audits.
Appellants filed preliminary objections on March 12, 1975, challenging the jurisdiction of the court below and raising the defense of failure to join necessary parties; namely, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Insurance Department and the Insurance Commissioner.
By order dated October 8, 1975, these preliminary objections were overruled and appellants were directed to answer the complaint. Appellants did not take an appeal pursuant to Section 1 of the Act of March 5, 1925, P.L. 23, as amended, 12 P.S. § 672, nor otherwise seek an allowance of appeal.
On November 10, 1975, appellants filed an answer with new matter and on December 18, 1975, filed a petition for an extension of time to join as additional defendants the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Insurance Department and the Insurance Commissioner. Appellee opposed this petition in which appellants alleged only that the proposed additional defendants should be parties to the proceedings before the court below.
By opinion and order, the court below denied said petition, stating that appellants had failed to establish cause for the granting of an extension beyond the sixty day limit of Pa. R.C.P. No. 2252 as ...