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JOHN SCHERBICK AND ELIZABETH SCHERBICK v. COMMUNITY COLLEGE ALLEGHENY COUNTY V. DICK CORPORATION AND STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING AUTHORITY (06/05/78)

decided: June 5, 1978.

JOHN SCHERBICK AND ELIZABETH SCHERBICK, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS,
v.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY V. DICK CORPORATION AND STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING AUTHORITY



No. 87 March Term, 1977, Appeal from Order of the Commonwealth Court entered December 16, 1976, at No. 13 T.D. 1976.

COUNSEL

George R. Specter, Baskin, Boreman, Wilner, Sachs, Gondelman & Craig, Pittsburgh, for appellants.

John Edward Wall, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, David J. Greenberg, Pittsburgh, for Community College of Allegheny County.

Richard L. Kearns, Harrisburg, for State Public School Building Authority.

James A. Beinkemper, Frank J. Kernan, Plowman & Spiegel, Pittsburgh, for Dick Corp.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix, Manderino and Larsen, JJ.

Author: O'brien

[ 479 Pa. Page 217]

OPINION OF THE COURT

In March of 1969, appellants, John and Elizabeth Scherbick, conveyed a portion of their property in West Mifflin Borough to Allegheny County for the construction of a

[ 479 Pa. Page 218]

    campus for the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC). Sometime after the conveyance, construction was started on the site with Dick Corporation (Dick) as general contractor. In 1973, a suit in equity was filed by appellants naming Allegheny County as a defendant. Appellants alleged that because of the construction, their property, which was adjacent to the conveyed property, was being damaged by a continuing trespass in the form of water drainage.

After filing the suit, appellants discovered that the County had conveyed the land to CCAC. After discontinuing their suit against the County, appellants filed a similar suit naming CCAC as defendant. CCAC then joined Dick as an additional defendant. Dick in its answer stated that it was acting pursuant to plans and directions of CCAC and the State Public School Building Authority (the authority).

Subsequently, it was discovered that the authority was the record owner of the fee simple in the land. The court below ordered appellants to join the authority as another additional defendant. After the joinder, the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County certified the matter to Commonwealth Court. The basis of the Common Pleas Court's action was ยง 401 of the Appellate Court Jurisdiction Act, ...


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