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RONALD L. KEIRS AND KARISSA LYNN KEIRS v. WEBER NATIONAL STORES (03/21/86)

filed: March 21, 1986.

RONALD L. KEIRS AND KARISSA LYNN KEIRS, A MINOR, BY RONALD L. KEIRS, HER NATURAL PARENT AND GUARDIAN
v.
WEBER NATIONAL STORES, INC. AND HATCHERS MFG., INC., A/K/A HATCHERS, BEVERLY, MASS



Appeal from the order April 30, 1985 in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Civil No. 279 November Term 1984 A.D.

COUNSEL

Peter M. Suwak, Washington, for appellants.

Gerald J. Hutton, Pittsburgh, for Weber Nat., appellee.

John E. Wall, Pittsburgh, for Hatchers Mfg., appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Del Sole and Beck, JJ. Del Sole, J., concurs in result.

Author: Cirillo

[ 352 Pa. Super. Page 113]

Appellant Ronald L. Keirs suffered severe injuries when the jacket he was wearing was doused with a flammable

[ 352 Pa. Super. Page 114]

    liquid and set ablaze. Taking the position that the double-knit fabric of the coat improperly acted as a "wick", appellant sued the manufacturer and seller of the garment, appellees herein, on strict liability and breach of warranty theories. Additionally, plaintiff Karissa Lynn Keirs, daughter of appellant, seeks damages for loss of her father's consortium. Both appellees filed preliminary objections in the form of demurrers, and the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County sustained the objections. We are now called upon to determine whether the trial court acted properly in so doing.

The trial court aptly noted the standard applicable to consideration of a demurrer, quoting from Bartanus v. Lis, 332 Pa. Super. 48, 52, 480 A.2d 1178, 1180 (1984), wherein we held that:

In considering preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer, the question presented is whether, on the facts averred, the law says with certainty that no recovery is possible. Hoffman v. Misericordia Hospital of Philadelphia, 439 Pa. 501, 503-504, 267 A.2d 867, 868 (1970). A demurrer admits every well-pleaded material fact set forth in the complaint, as well as all inferences reasonably deducible therefrom, but not conclusions of law. Sinn v. Burd, 486 Pa. 146, 149-150, 404 A.2d 672, 673-674 (1979); Gekas v. Shapp, 469 Pa. 1, 5, 364 A.2d 691, 693 (1976); Chorba v. Davlisa Enterprises, Inc., 303 Pa. Super. 497, 500, 450 A.2d 36, 37 (1982). The law does not provide a "magic formula" to determine the sufficiency of a plaintiff's complaint, however, the law is clear that a demurrer can only be sustained in a case free from doubt. Hoffman v. Misercordia [sic] Hospital of Philadelphia, supra; Chorba v. Davlisa Enterprises, Inc., 303 Pa. Super. at 500, 450 A.2d at 38; Pike County Hotels, Corp. v. Kiefer, 262 Pa. Super. 126, 135, 396 A.2d 677, 681 (1978).

(Emphasis in original). Accord, Fravel v. Suzuki Motor Co., 337 Pa. Super. 97, 486 A.2d 498 (1984). In passing upon such "freedom from ...


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