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SIDNEY LEVY AND FRIEDA LEVY v. FIRST PENNSYLVANIA BANK N.A. (01/09/85)

filed: January 9, 1985.

SIDNEY LEVY AND FRIEDA LEVY, AS ASSIGNEES OF SID-FRIED ENTERPRISES, INC., AND SIDNEY LEVY AND FRIEDA LEVY, TRUSTEES OF NOVELTY PRINTING CO. PROFIT SHARING TRUST
v.
FIRST PENNSYLVANIA BANK N.A., APPELLANT V. ROBERT V. BOLGER, II, BENNETT G. PICKER, ARTHUR W. HANKIN, CARL S. TANNENBAUM AND STEVEN R. WAXMAN, INDIVIDUALLY AND T/A BOLGER & PICKER, A PARTNERSHIP, AND RICHARD S. ROBINSON



No. 1104 Philadelphia 1983, Appeal from a judgment entered April 6, 1983, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, at February Term 1979, No. 4506.

COUNSEL

J. Dennis Faucher, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Richard M. Jordan, Philadelphia, for appellees.

McEwen, Olszewski and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 76]

First Pennsylvania Bank appeals the dismissal of its exceptions to the Opinion of Judge Lois G. Forer, awarding appellee $222,776.87 with interest. The underlying action is a suit for conversion of three checks paid to a person other than the owner.

The facts are simple. The Levys were clients of the law firm of Bolger & Picker. When they sold their business, Novelty Printing, in February, 1978, the Levys instructed Richard Robinson, a partner at Bolger & Picker, to open an

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 77]

    account for them in the name of B & J Corp.*fn1 at a local brokerage firm. When the treasury bills purchased by the broker matured, Robinson was directed to deposit checks sent to him by the broker into the Levy's bank accounts at Girard Bank and Industrial Valley Bank.

Robinson received three checks in the sums of $75,000, $75,000 and $72,776.87 from the broker. Instead of depositing them in the Levy's bank accounts, he deposited them in his own personal account at First Pennsylvania. Robinson accomplished this by signing the back of the checks with the names of the payees,*fn2 B & J Corp. and Novelty Printing Company Profit Sharing Trust, and the notations "deposit to account No. 773-784-4". This was Robinson's personal account. He later withdrew the money and disposed of it.*fn3 When the scheme was discovered, the law firm's insurer paid to the Levys the amount of the checks.*fn4

The Levys then brought this action against First Pennsylvania for conversion. The bank joined Bolger & Picker and Robinson as co-defendants.*fn5 At a non-jury trial, the Levys were awarded $222,776.87 with interest from September 14, 1979, the date upon which the insurer reimbursed the Levys.

Here, the bank appeals the trial court's dismissal of its exceptions.

Appellant assigns a number of errors to the lower court's opinion; we address them seriatim. Appellant first argues that it cannot be held ...


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