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STABATROL CORPORATION ET AL. v. METZVAL CORPORATION ET AL. (02/18/83)

decided: February 18, 1983.

STABATROL CORPORATION ET AL., PETITIONERS
v.
METZVAL CORPORATION ET AL., RESPONDENTS



Original jurisdiction in case of Stabatrol Corporation, a corporation; Waste Management Inc., a corporation; and Chemical Waste Management Inc., a corporation v. Metzval Corporation, a corporation; Darbron Corporation, a corporation; 1533 North Fletcher Corporation, a corporation; Park L. Metzger; Richard E. Valiga; Lee L. Metzger; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources; and Peter S. Duncan, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources.

COUNSEL

Alan S. Baum, with him Robert S. Grigsby, Thomson, Rhodes & Grigsby, C. Grainger Bowman, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for petitioners.

Francis P. Newell, with him Steven A. Madva and Ralph W. Brenner, Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, for respondents, Metzval Corporation, Darbron Corporation, 1533 North Fletcher Corporation, Park L. Metzger, Richard E. Valiga and Lee L. Metzger.

Louis A. Naugle, Assistant Counsel, for respondent, Department of Environmental Resources.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 189]

Petitioners*fn1 have filed a petition for review in our original jurisdiction seeking equitable remedies against individual, corporate and governmental respondents.*fn2 All respondents have filed preliminary objections which are now before us for disposition. Petitioners have also filed preliminary objections to certain of respondents' preliminary objections.*fn3

[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 190]

This action emanates from negotiations between Petitioners and the corporate and individual respondents (other than Peter S. Duncan (Secretary)) relative to the purchase by the Petitioners from the corporate and individual respondents (exclusive of the Secretary) of certain chattels, assets, stock and other items used by such respondents in the conduct of a hazardous waste disposal business in Pennsylvania. Petitioners allege that after they had entered into an agreement of sale with those respondents and had advanced substantial sums on account of the purchase price, certain developments occurred which have caused them substantial and irreparable harm. Among such developments were certain orders of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) pertaining to hazardous waste disposal sites used by the sellers and pertinent to the terms of the agreement of sale.

Petitioners allege that during their negotiations with the sellers, they had discussions with DER and the Secretary (collectively, Commonwealth Respondents) and that Commonwealth Respondents, at the time of those discussions, had knowledge of the violations which resulted in DER's subsequent orders. Petitioners contend to us that these misrepresentations of existing facts constitute misfeasance and/or malfeasance on the part of the Commonwealth Respondents. Petitioners ask that DER and the Secretary be enjoined from enforcing against Petitioners the DER orders issued subsequent to the execution of subject agreement of sale.

It is well settled that for the purpose of disposing of the preliminary objections now before us, the factual averments in the petition must be deemed to be true. Burgerhoff v. Pennsylvania State Police, 49 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 49, 410 A.2d 395 (1980). It is equally well settled that if we find that the factual allegations

[ 72 Pa. Commw. Page 191]

    in the petition are sufficient to vest jurisdiction in this Court and to impose liability upon DER and/or the Secretary, then we may dispose of the substantive issues in this case regarding all respondents. By the same token, if we find that the factual allegations against DER and the Secretary are insufficient to vest jurisdiction in this Court or to ...


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