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GEORGE ADAMSON AND ALLAN LEVIN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/24/80)

decided: January 24, 1980.

GEORGE ADAMSON AND ALLAN LEVIN, AND FRED PICKET, AND ALL PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD STATE STORE MANAGERS, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, AND PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, AND RICHARD WERNER, COMPTROLLER, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, RESPONDENTS



Original jurisdiction in case of George Adamson and Allan Levin and Fred Picket and all Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board State Store Managers v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and Richard Werner, Comptroller, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

COUNSEL

Robert W. Barton, with him Robert A. Polin, Killian & Gephart, for petitioners.

Kenneth W. Makowski, Acting Chief Counsel, with him David Shotel, Assistant Attorney General and Edward Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondents.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., DiSalle and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge DiSalle.

Author: Crumlish

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 55]

Presented for our consideration are the merits of preliminary objections filed by the Respondents, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board), and the Comptroller of the Board*fn1 to a Petition for Review filed by Plaintiffs, George Adamson, Allan Levin and Fred Pickett, State Liquor Store employees.

The petition, filed on behalf of all Board State Liquor Store Managers, seeks injunctive and declaratory relief as well as compensatory damages from Respondents. It alleges that specific sums of money were deducted from Petitioners' paychecks due to cash shortages which occurred in State Liquor Stores managed by the named Petitioners. It is averred by Petitioners that the money was deducted from their paychecks

[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 56]

    without their being given an opportunity to challenge the unilateral action or present any evidence disclaiming their responsibility for the alleged shortages.*fn2

Respondents have two preliminary objections: (1) in the nature of a demurrer and (2) to the legal sufficiency of the petition in establishing a basis for a class action suit.

Petitioners, in asserting the propriety of a class action suit, purport to represent approximately 1500 State Liquor Store Managers employed by the Board throughout the Commonwealth against whom Respondents have allegedly taken similar action to that taken against the named Petitioners. Petitioners assert that their petition is in "substantial conformity" to the criteria for a class action suit set forth in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure in that it purports to represent a class so numerous that joinder is impracticable and that questions of law and fact and the legal claims and defenses are common and typical throughout the class and the purported representatives of the class.

Upon consideration of the pleadings filed and after the submission of briefs and arguments, we cannot agree that the Petition for Review is in "substantial conformity" to the necessary requirements for maintenance of a class action suit. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. ...


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