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GRA ENTERPRISES v. EUGENE BRUNOZZI (07/16/82)

filed: July 16, 1982.

GRA ENTERPRISES, INC. AND DONALD CARPENTER, APPELLANTS
v.
EUGENE BRUNOZZI



No. 123 Pittsburgh, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, Allegheny County, at No. GD 80-19810.

COUNSEL

Joseph W. Conway, Pittsburgh, for appellants.

Thomas J. Gravina, Pittsburgh, for appellee.

Cavanaugh, Montemuro and Van der Voort, JJ.

Author: Montemuro

[ 302 Pa. Super. Page 169]

The instant action is one of a pair of companion cases which were argued together below but which gave rise to different outcomes on different causes of action.

The companion case named as defendant a certain Robert L. Kish, a former employee of appellants. Kish had signed a covenant not to compete with appellants as a condition of his employment, and the lower court issued an injunction forbidding his continued participation in a competitive business. Neither party appealed that outcome.

The case we are now required to decide, however, ended unsatisfactorily for appellants, as their petition for an injunction against appellee, Eugene Brunozzi, was denied. Appellants argue that appellee, their former accountant, was guilty of a civil conspiracy with Kish in setting up a competitive business and has also violated the C.P.A. Law by divulging confidential information. Hence this appeal.

Appellee raises a jurisdictional issue, claiming that the order of the lower court, being in equity, is a decree nisi rather than a final order, and that under Pa.R.C.P. 1518 appellant was compelled to file exceptions to preserve his issues for appeal. This proposition finds support in cases

[ 302 Pa. Super. Page 170]

    such as Community Sports, Inc., v. Oakland Oaks, 429 Pa. 412, 240 A.2d 491 (1968) and Altemose Construction Co. v. Building and Construction Trades Council, 461 Pa. 524, 337 A.2d 277, 88 BNA LR RM 3448 (1975).

In 1976, however, 42 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 5105(c) was enacted, and Pa.R.A.P. 311 was promulgated pursuant to that provision. Section 311(a)(4) specifically grants an appeal "as of right" from orders concerning injunctions. The Notes following the rule cite the Altemose case, supra, as an example of "prior practice". Present practice, obviously, is controlled by the statute permitting appeal directly to the appellate court without the need for exceptions. Therefore, the matter is properly before this court at the present time and the merits may be considered.

The appellee is a certified public accountant who was employed by appellant Carpenter to be the accountant for the appellant Agra Enterprises. Appellee set up the books for the business and thereafter performed the monthly accounting and dealt with the banks. He came to know the employees and to be very familiar with the business. He was employed to do similar jobs as accountant for a second ...


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