No. 214 March Term, 1978, Appeal from Order of Superior Court at No. 496 April Term, 1976, Reversing Order of January 29, 1976, of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, at No. 889 of 1974
Hugh G. Grady, Fein & Grady, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Michael D. Heintzman, Thomson, Rhodes & Grigsby, Pittsburgh, for Leon D. Goffin and N. A. Hetzler.
Oran W. Panner, John W. Jordan, IV, Pittsburgh, Panner, Holland & Autenreith, Beaver, for Medical Center of Beaver County, Inc., Rochester Div.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Nix, Manderino, Larsen and Flaherty, JJ. Manderino, J., did not participate in the decision of this case.
This appeal results from an order of the Superior Court, which reversed an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, where the latter court had opened its previous order dismissing an action in trespass and allowed the complaint in trespass to be reinstated.
On June 26, 1973, Gabriel Gasbarini [decedent] died while a patient at Medical Center of Beaver County, Inc. [appellee], and while under the care of individual appellees, Dr. Leon D. Goggin and Dr. N. A. Hetzler. Appellant, Anna Gasbarine,*fn1 the decedent's widow, obtained an attorney from Philadelphia, Franklin Rubin, to represent her in a suit in trespass against appellees.
Shortly after the decedent's death, appellant sought to be appointed administratrix of decedent's estate. While appellant had applied for letters of administration, she was not, at that time, appointed administratrix because of Rubin's failure to post a $500 bond as required by Section 3171 of the Probate, Estates and Fiduciary Code.*fn2
On September 26, 1973, appellant's counsel commenced an action in trespass by summons against appellees. On the summons, plaintiff was identified as "Estate of Gabriel C. Gasbarini, a/k/a Gabriel C. Gasbarine". Mr. Rubin failed to respond to the Medical Center's rule to file a complaint, and a judgment of non pros was subsequently entered.
On June 20, 1974, Rubin filed another summons in trespass against the same parties, once again naming "Estate of Gasbarini" as plaintiff. A complaint was filed on November 15, 1974. Following the filing of the complaint, appellees filed preliminary objections alleging, inter alia, that the "estate" was not a proper party. Despite the fact that notice of the preliminary objections was sent to Rubin's ...