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JACQUELINE H. STOKES AND ROBERT STOKES v. LOYAL ORDER MOOSE LODGE # 696 (10/21/83)

decided: October 21, 1983.

JACQUELINE H. STOKES AND ROBERT STOKES, HUSBAND AND WIFE,
v.
LOYAL ORDER OF MOOSE LODGE # 696, A CORPORATION, APPELLEE, V. GENERAL ACCIDENT FIRE AND LIFE ASSURANCE CORPORATION, LTD., AND THE JAMES W. DONCASTER AGENCY, INC., A CORPORATION. APPEAL OF GENERAL ACCIDENT FIRE AND LIFE ASSURANCE CORPORATION, LTD.



No. 69 W.D. Appeal Dkt. 1982, Appeal from the Order Entered July 23, 1982 in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania at No. 445 Pittsburgh, 1981, which Reversed and Remanded the Order Entered March 17, 1981 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, at No. G.D. 80-22851.

COUNSEL

Timothy D. Appelbe, Murovich, Reale & Fossee, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

John E. Quinn, Sikov & Love, Pittsburgh, for Loyal Order of Moose Lodge # 696.

Seymour A. Sikov, Paul F. Laughlin, Laughlin & Michalek, Pittsburgh, for Jacqueline H. Stokes and Robert Stokes.

Barris Siegel, Rochester, for James W. Doncaster Agency, Inc.

Roberts, C.j., and Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson and Zappala, JJ.

Author: Zappala

[ 502 Pa. Page 462]

OPINION

Plaintiffs, Jacqueline H. and Robert Stokes filed a complaint in trespass in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County against defendant, Loyal Order of Moose Lodge # 696, appellee here. Plaintiffs alleged that Jacqueline H. Stokes was injured on March 15, 1980, when a folding chair she was sitting on at appellee's premises collapsed. Appellee filed a complaint to join General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation, Ltd., appellant here, and the James W. Doncaster Agency, Inc. Appellee claims that General Accident breached an insurance policy by refusing either to defend appellee in the action by plaintiffs or to agree to indemnify appellee for any liability; that General Accident is liable for the negligence of its agent, Doncaster, in failing to obtain or renew an insurance policy; and that General Accident is estopped from denying coverage because of Doncaster's conduct. The additional defendants filed preliminary objections, claiming that the complaint against them was not properly joined with plaintiffs' complaint. The Court of Common Pleas sustained the preliminary objections. The Superior Court 302 Pa. Super. 256, 448 A.2d 624 reversed. We granted a Petition for Allowance of Appeal filed by General Accident.

The issue is whether appellee's complaint against appellant may be joined with plaintiffs' suit against appellee. Joinder of additional defendants is governed by Rule of Civil Procedure 2252(a). In its previous version, the rule provided that

In any action the defendant or any additional defendant may file as of course a praecipe for a writ or a complaint to join as an additional defendant any person not a party

[ 502 Pa. Page 463]

    to the action who may be alone liable or liable over to him on the cause of action declared upon or jointly or ...


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