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SHEPPARD CORPORATION v. CITY PHILADELPHIA (05/28/86)

decided: May 28, 1986.

SHEPPARD CORPORATION, APPELLANT
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, RAYMOND M. TATE, JR., AND ROBERT HAWTHORNE, INC., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in the case of Sheppard Corporation v. City of Philadelphia and Robert Hawthorne, Inc., No. 3612, November Term, 1980.

COUNSEL

Stephen G. Brown, with him, Michael H. Egnal, Egnal and Egnal, P.A., for appellant.

Mitchell S. Pinsly, with him, Barbara R. Axelrod, Deputy City Solicitor, Appeals, Leonard R. Parks, Chief Assistant City Solicitor, and Barbara W. Mather, City Solicitor, for appellees.

Judges MacPhail and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 463]

Sheppard Corporation (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia refusing to remove a compulsory non-suit entered against it by the trial court in an order dated October 23, 1984. We affirm.

The issue we must decide is whether the trial judge, Honorable William M. Marutani, abused his discretion in entering the disputed order.

It appears from the record that a suit in trespass was commenced in the trial court on November 21, 1980 by Appellant seeking damages from the City of Philadelphia (City), its Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections (Tate) and Robert Hawthorne, Inc. (Hawthorne)

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 464]

(collectively referred to herein as Appellees) for the wrongful demolition of Appellant's two buildings situate on South Front Street in Philadelphia. The demolition was ordered by the City after a fire occurred in one of the buildings and the City determined that the buildings were imminently dangerous to the public. The City employed Hawthorne to do the demolition work after it determined that Appellant had failed to take timely action to comply with the City's demolition order.

The case proceeded through the discovery and pleading stages and was listed for trial May 14, 1984 but was continued on that date to permit Appellant to amend its complaint. The case was called again for trial on May 17, 1984 and again continued, this time to give Appellees the opportunity to review certain documentary evidence they had requested from Appellant but which was supplied only the day before.*fn1

On October 22, 1984, the case was again called for trial at which point Hawthorne presented an extensive motion in limine requesting that the trial court preclude certain of Appellant's witnesses from testifying on the ground that Appellant failed to file full and complete reports and full and complete answers to interrogatories with respect to Appellant's expert witnesses on the matter of damages. After reviewing the ...


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