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GENERAL STATE AUTHORITY v. SUTTER CORPORATION AND CERTAIN-TEED PRODUCTS CORPORATION (11/01/82)

decided: November 1, 1982.

THE GENERAL STATE AUTHORITY, PLAINTIFF
v.
THE SUTTER CORPORATION AND CERTAIN-TEED PRODUCTS CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS. DUNMORE ROOFING & SUPPLY CO. ET AL., ADDITIONAL DEFENDANTS



Original Jurisdiction in the case of The General State Authority v. The Sutter Corporation and Certain-Teed Products Corporation, Dunmore Roofing & Supply Co., Owens Corning Fiberglass Corporation, George M. D. Lewis and Donald Berghauser, individually and t/a Lewis and Berghauser, National Surety Corporation, Garner R. Slutter, Leroy Leary and Henry K. Fluck.

COUNSEL

No appearance for plaintiff.

Louis G. Feldmann, for defendants, The Sutter Corporation.

Bernadette Barattini, Wix, Wenger & Weidner, for additional defendants, George M. D. Lewis and Donald Berghauser, individually and t/a Lewis and Berghauser.

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 506]

In June 1976, the General State Authority (GSA) commenced this action in assumpsit against the general contractor, Sutter Corporation,*fn1 for damages arising from difficulties encountered with the roof of a newly-built annex to the Scranton State General Hospital. Sutter, in turn, filed a complaint in December 1976 joining architects Lewis and Berghauser as additional party-defendants under Pa. R.C.P. No. 2252. By order of July 10, 1979, this court dismissed Sutter's complaint, with leave to amend, because the contractor had failed to set forth an adequate claim for relief.*fn2

Now that Sutter has amended its complaint, alleging that Lewis and Berghauser are jointly or severally liable to GSA,*fn3 the architects contend through preliminary objections that Sutter has not cured the

[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 507]

    deficiencies in its original claim; accordingly, they ask us to dismiss the action against them or require Sutter to file a more specific complaint. Moreover, they contend that, at best, they are only liable secondarily to GSA, in order to invoke Burbage v. Boiler Engineering & Supply Co., 433 Pa. 319, 249 A.2d 563 (1969) and Eckrich v. DiNardo, 283 Pa. Superior Ct. 84, 423 A.2d 727 (1980), for the proposition that an original defendant who is primarily liable cannot require a party secondarily liable to be joined as an additional defendant.*fn4

We are satisfied, however, that Sutter's amended complaint now states a viable cause of action against Lewis and Berghauser as additional party-defendants under Rule 2252.*fn5

[ 69 Pa. Commw. Page 508]

Rule 2252(b) requires that a defendant's complaint aver the factual basis for an additional defendant's liability in the same form and manner as the plaintiff's complaint under Pa. R.C.P. No. 1019. As under Rule 1019(a), a Rule 2252 complaint should formulate the issues by fully summarizing the "material" or "ultimate" facts, i.e., those facts essential to support the claim. General State Authority v. Sutter Corp., 44 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 156, 160-61, 403 A.2d 1022, 1025 (1979). A complaint must (1) contain averments of all the facts the moving party will have to prove eventually to recover and (2) be sufficiently specific to enable the non-moving party to prepare a defense. General State Authority v. Sutter Corp., 24 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 391, 396, 356 A.2d 377, 381 ...


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