Appeal from Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court Division, of Allegheny County, No. 625 of 1978.
John J. McLean, Jr., Pittsburgh, for appellants.
Kenneth E. Lewis, Pittsburgh, for appellee.
Brosky, Wieand and Lederer,*fn* JJ.
The orphans' court refused to order specific performance of a written agreement which purported to obligate the Estate of Ethel McSorley Mihm, deceased, to sell for $475,000 a one-third interest in a closely held, family corporation
allegedly worth $1,800,000. This appeal was filed by the owners of the remaining two-thirds. We affirm.
The task of a reviewing court is to determine whether the record contains evidence which will support the trial judge's findings of fact, not to substitute its view of the evidence for his. United States Steel Corp. v. Hoge, 304 Pa. Super. 182, 188 n. 6, 450 A.2d 162, 165 n. 6 (1982), rev'd on other grounds, 503 Pa. 140, 468 A.2d 1380 (1983). "Even meager or uncorroborated evidence will support the [trial court's] findings if the evidence is of record and properly before the court." Id. It is also the responsibility of a reviewing court to determine whether the law was correctly applied to the facts by the trial court. See: Lawner v. Engelbach, 433 Pa. 311, 315, 249 A.2d 295, 297 (1969); Silo Realty Corp. v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia, 289 Pa. Super. 67, 70, 432 A.2d 1053, 1055 (1981); Barbet v. Ostovar, 273 Pa. Super. 256, 260, 417 A.2d 636, 638 (1979).
A review of the law applicable to an action for specific performance of a contract was included in the opinion of the Supreme Court in Snow v. Corsica Construction Co., 459 Pa. 528, 329 A.2d 887 (1974).
"Inadequacy of consideration is not ground for refusing to decree specific performance of a contract to convey real estate, unless there is evidence of fraud or unfairness in the transaction sufficient to make it inequitable to compel performance: Harris v. Tyson, 24 Pa. 347, 360; Graham v. Pancoast, 30 Pa. 89, 97; Cummings's App., 67 Pa. 404; Bowers v. Bennethum, 133 Pa. 306, 19 A. 624; Jackson's Est., 203 Pa. 33, 52 A. 125. 'Inadequacy of price, improvidence, surprise, and mere hardship, none of these, nor all combined, furnish an adequate reason for a judicial rescission of a contract. For such action something more is demanded, -- such as fraud, mistake or illegality.' Frey's Est., 223 Pa. 61, 65, 72 A. 317, 318. Although relief in equity is a matter of grace only and not of right, and rests in the discretion of the court, to be exercised upon a consideration of all the circumstances of
the case, it does not follow that a decree for specific performance must be entered in all cases where the agreement is legally sound and the price adequate, but if the transaction be inequitable or unjust in itself or rendered so by matters subsequently occurring, specific performance may be denied and the parties turned over to their remedy in damages (Rennyson v. Rozell, 106 Pa. 407, 412), and, while no rule applicable to all cases can be announced, it may be said that specific relief will be granted if apparent that, in view of all the circumstances, it will subserve the ends of justice, and will be withheld ...