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LEHIGH ELECTRIC PRODUCTS CO. v. PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL MUTUAL CASUALTY INSURANCE CO. AND A & B ELECTRIC CONTRACTING CO. INC. (07/12/78)

decided: July 12, 1978.

LEHIGH ELECTRIC PRODUCTS CO., INC., APPELLANT,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL MUTUAL CASUALTY INSURANCE CO. AND A & B ELECTRIC CONTRACTING CO. INC., AND HARRY BLACHMAN AND RHEA BLACHMAN



No. 717 October Term 1977, APPEAL FROM ORDER OF THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS, LEHIGH COUNTY, CIVIL ACTION - LAW, ENTERED NOV. 30, 1976 at No. 52 APRIL 1976.

COUNSEL

Charles J. Hair, Allentown, for appellant.

Howard S. Epstein, Allentown, for appellee, Pennsylvania Nat. Mut. Cas. Ins. Co.

Watkins, President Judge, and Hoffman, Cercone, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Jacobs, President Judge, Watkins, former President Judge, and Price, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Spaeth

[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 200]

This is an appeal from an order granting summary judgment.

Appellee A & B Electric Contracting Company contracted to perform certain electrical work required for alterations and additions to the Souderton Senior High School, Montgomery County. As required by the Public Works Contractors' Bond Law,*fn1 A & B took out a bond guaranteeing that all money due for labor and materials would be paid in full. Appellee Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company was the surety on the bond.

Appellant Lehigh Electric Products Company subcontracted with A & B to supply and install an instructional television system in the school. On December 3, 1974, Lehigh delivered and installed the system. Also on December 3, Lehigh demonstrated the equipment to Manuel Tubio, Media Director for the Souderton Area School District. On January 9, 1975, Lehigh returned to the school to adjust a "hand command central unit" and other elements of the audio part of the system. Also on January 9, Lehigh gave a further demonstration to Tubio.

On January 9, 1976, Lehigh sued Pennsylvania National as surety to recover amounts owed for labor and materials on the television system. Pennsylvania National added A & B as a defendant, and in new matter averred that Lehigh's suit was barred by the one-year statute of limitations provided for in the Public Works Contractors' Bond Law, supra note 1, 8 P.S. § 197(b):

No . . . action [on a payment bond] may be commenced after the expiration of one year from the day on which the last of the labor was performed or material was supplied for the payment of which such action is brought by the claimant.

After review of depositions and affidavits, the lower court granted Pennsylvania National's motion for summary judgment

[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 201]

    on the ground that the statute of limitations barred the ...


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