No. 1896 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of July 9, 1980, Court of Common Pleas, Northampton County, 85 August Term 1971, Civil Division, Assumpsit.
Marvin Comisky, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Domenick P. Sbrocchi, Bangor, for appellees.
Cercone, President Judge, and Hester and Johnson, JJ. Hester, J., files a dissenting statement.
[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 113]
This is an appeal from a judgment entered after the denial of exceptions in a non-jury trial.
[ 300 Pa. Super. Page 114]
Appellee (hereinafter referred to as "Contractor") filed a complaint in assumpsit against Appellant (hereinafter referred to as "Owner"), alleging that Owner owed Contractor the sum of $299,505.17 (later amended to $310,576.10) for construction of a motel and banquet center. The aforesaid amount was allegedly owing in addition to the amount of $1,460,999.90 that Owner had already paid to Contractor. The trial court held that venue was in Northampton County, which was the place where the written contract of December 23, 1968, had been executed.
After a non-jury trial that extended over a period of one month, post-trial briefs and arguments were presented to the trial judge. The trial judge died before rendering a decision, and the parties agreed that the court could make a decision based on the record. Approximately one and one-half years after post-trial arguments, the assigned judge filed a decision and verdict granting Contractor the amount of $277,169.06, with interest on $266,098.23 from February 19, 1971.
Owner's exceptions were dismissed by the court en banc, and judgment was entered on the verdict. Owner appeals from the aforesaid judgment. For the following reasons, we reverse and remand for a new trial.
Because of our decision in this case, we shall discuss only one of the twelve (12) issues that Owner presents for our consideration. Owner questions whether or not the trial judge erred when he allowed Contractor, after the statute of limitations had run, to amend his complaint to assert the existence of a subsequent oral agreement.
Contractor's complaint alleged that he and Owner contracted on December 23, 1968, to construct the motel and banquet center for the amount of $1,510,000.00. This amount consisted of the guaranteed maximum cost of $1,100,000.00 plus Owner's requested change orders. The complaint further alleged that the amount of $1,510,000.00 was increased by change orders to a total cost of $1,759,505.17. ...