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DELIA RIVERA v. SELFON HOME REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS COMPANY (01/05/82)

filed: January 5, 1982.

DELIA RIVERA, APPELLANT,
v.
SELFON HOME REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS COMPANY



No. 2145 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Action-Law, of Lancaster County, at No. 251, March Term, 1978.

COUNSEL

David L. Ashworth, Lancaster, for appellant.

George C. Werner, Lancaster, for appellee.

Cercone, President Judge, and Wickersham and Brosky, JJ.

Author: Wickersham

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 42]

On September 20, 1976 at about 10:00 a.m. appellant, Delia Rivera, stepped onto a wooden landing at the top of a wooden stairway which provided means of ingress and egress to her apartment at 529 Terrace Road, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She fell through the landing onto the pavement below and sustained serious personal injuries. The owner of the property was the appellee herein, Selfon Home Repairs and Improvements Company (hereinafter Selfon) and Delia Rivera was a tenant at that location. In March of 1978 she filed a complaint in trespass alleging, inter alia, that her fall and consequent injuries were caused by Selfon in failing to properly maintain the residence, failing to provide a satisfactory means of ingress and egress to the apartment and permitting the wooden structure of the stairway and landing to become decayed, rotten and otherwise unstable and in failing to provide a workman to repair this condition despite previous requests to do so. Complaint, paras. 1-7.

On October 16, 1978, Delia Rivera's case came to trial before the Honorable Paul A. Mueller, Jr. and a jury and the lower court granted defendant's motion for compulsory non-suit

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 43]

    after Delia Rivera rested on liability. A subsequent motion to take off the non-suit and a companion motion for reconsideration of a motion to amend the complaint were denied on August 11, 1980 with an opinion filed by the Lancaster County Court en banc.*fn1 On September 8, 1980, judgment was entered on the order of August 11, and this appeal followed.*fn2

At trial, Delia Rivera and her friend, Mrs. Flora Rivera testified. Flora testified that she accompanied Delia to the office of Selfon where they met Mr. Selfon and discussed the possibility of leasing a property at 529 Terrace Road, Lancaster. After looking at the property, Flora testified they returned to see Mr. Selfon and,

Q. Well, was there any mention about the condition at 529 to Mr. Selfon?

A. Just we mentioned to him the stairs and we also mentioned to him about the condition of the house as far as painting, and he said to us that he was going to send somebody over to take a look at it.

Trial Transcript at 20.

Flora Rivera testified further that:

[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 44]

Q What was next done with respect to lease arrangements for 529 Terrace Avenue or Terrace Road? Did you sign a lease or did Mrs. Rivera sign a lease?

A Well, when we went back to his office, Mr. Selfon's office, --

Q. Where is that office incidentally?

A. It is in the pawn shop here on West King Street.

Q Is that where you met with ...


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