No. 1190 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division of Philadelphia County at No. 1550 May Term 1975.
Harry P. Begier, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellants.
William D. Parry, Philadelphia, for London, appellees.
Roger J. Harrington, Philadelphia, for Fedders, appellees.
August J. Lacko, Philadelphia, for amicus curiae.
Wickersham, Brosky and Wieand, JJ. Wieand, J., concurs in the result.
[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 105]
This is an appeal from a trial court order denying a petition to intervene brought by United National Insurance Company, Amherst Insurance Company, and Northeastern Fire Insurance Company of Pennsylvania (hereinafter the insurance companies). The pertinent facts are as follows. A retail store, owned by M. London, Inc., (hereinafter London) and insured by the appellant -- proposed intervenor insurance companies, was extensively damaged by fire on November 24, 1974. London presented claims for the damage to the store to the insurance companies which were settled for a total of $55,034.62.
London conducted an investigation into the cause of the fire and concluded that it was the result of a defective refrigerator manufactured and distributed by Fedders Corporation and Fedders-Norge Eastern Distributing, Inc., (hereinafter Fedders). London brought suit against Fedders on May 9, 1975, alleging damages of over $150,000.00. The insurance companies presented a petition to intervene in the suit on August 23, 1977, which was denied on March 8, 1978. An appeal from the order denying the petition to intervene was filed by the insurance companies with the superior court on March 23, 1978, and a petition for supersedeas was filed in the lower court on May 10, 1978. The lower court denied the petition for supersedeas on June 15, 1978; the insurance companies then filed an application for stay with the superior court. On July 31, 1978, the superior court denied the insurance companies' application for stay with a per curiam order.
A jury trial was held in the underlying action on November 6, 1978; the jury returned a verdict in favor of the
[ 306 Pa. Super. Page 106]
defendants Fedders. Judgment was so entered on March 29, 1979.
Initially, we note that we may address the issues of appealability and jurisdiction sua sponte. MacKanick v. Rubin, 244 Pa. Super. 467, 368 A.2d 815 (1976). Although generally an appeal will not lie from an order refusing leave to intervene (see Boise Cascade Corporation v. East Stroudsburg Saving Associations, 300 Pa. Super. 279, 446 A.2d 614 (1982)), such an order is appealable if a contrary conclusion would effectively preclude much of the relief sought by ...