No. 2016 Philadelphia 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County, Civil Division, at No. 351 of 1980, No. 2109 Philadelphia 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County, Civil Division, at No. 351 of 1980.
Thomas P. Harlan, Lebanon, for appellant (at No. 2016) and for appellee (at No. 2109).
Loren H. Schrum, Lebanon, for appellants (at No. 2109) and for appellees (at No. 2016).
Price, Wieand and Hoffman, JJ. Price, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision in this case.
[ 314 Pa. Super. Page 572]
Appellant contends that the lower court erred in granting appellees' motion for judgment on the pleadings based on
[ 314 Pa. Super. Page 573]
res judicata. We agree that the requirements for res judicata have not been met and, accordingly, reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
In the summer of 1976, appellees allegedly entered into an oral contract with Allen L. Brown, appellant's employee, whereby Brown would receive a commission if he secured a purchaser for appellees' real estate and business. On August 31, 1977, after producing a buyer and unsuccessfully attempting to collect his fee, Brown filed suit against appellees. In response to appellees preliminary objections, the lower court dismissed Brown's complaint because he was not a licensed real estate broker. Thereafter, Brown filed a motion to amend his complaint, seeking to join appellant, a licensed broker, as a voluntary plaintiff. Appellees' preliminary objections challenging the timeliness of the attempted amendment were sustained. On appeal to this Court, we affirmed. Brown v. Kleinfelter, 267 Pa. Superior Ct. 144, 406 A.2d 560 (1979).
Appellant filed suit, seeking Brown's commission, on February 8, 1980. Appellees counter-claimed for costs and fees and motioned for judgment on the pleadings alleging that the action (1) was barred by the statute of limitations; (2) violated professional ethical standards; and (3) was brought in bad faith because of appellant's knowledge of the earlier suit. The court granted the motion finding appellant's suit barred by res judicata, and dismissed appellee's counter-claim for costs and fees.*fn1 This appeal followed.
Appellant contends that judgment on the pleadings*fn2 was inappropriate because the requirements of res judicata were not met.*fn3 We agree. Res judicata involves the effect
[ 314 Pa. Super. Page 574]
of one judgment on a subsequent proceeding. Notoro v. Hyer Estate, 239 Pa. Superior Ct. 10, 361 A.2d 766 (1976). For a later action to be wholly barred, ...