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WILLIAM EDNEY v. SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY AND JOHN COLLINGTON. APPEAL SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (08/27/86)

decided: August 27, 1986.

WILLIAM EDNEY
v.
SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY AND JOHN COLLINGTON. APPEAL OF SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY



APPEAL FROM THE ORDER DECEMBER 6, 1985 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, CIVIL NO. 1576 JUNE TERM, 1984

COUNSEL

Delores R. Lanier, Philadelphia, for SEPTA, appellant.

Mark Feinman, Philadelphia, for Edney, appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Wickersham and Kelly, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 161]

This is an appeal from an order entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County denying appellant's petition to vacate a previous sanction order by which judgment was entered on behalf of appellee. On appeal, appellant contends that, (1) the sanctions imposed by the trial court were overly harsh in that they effectively precluded appellant from entering any defense; and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in entering this type of sanction. We find that the order of December 6, 1985 is not appealable; therefore, we quash the present appeal.

[ 356 Pa. Super. Page 162]

Appellee, William Edney, initiated a major, non-jury trial against appellant, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and co-defendant, John Collington, driver of an automobile involved in an accident with a trolley owned and operated by SEPTA. Appellee was a passenger on the trolley at the time of the accident. On July 11, 1984, appellee forwarded to SEPTA a set of written interrogatories and a request for production of documents.

SEPTA failed to return the answers or respond to the request for the production of documents, and appellee filed a motion with the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County to compel compliance with the discovery order. A copy of the motion was mailed to SEPTA at this time. SEPTA neither complied with, nor objected to this motion.

On November 14, 1984, the Honorable Ethan Allen Doty ordered SEPTA to file full and complete answers to appellee's interrogatories, and produce the requested documents within twenty days, or suffer appropriate sanctions. Seven months passed with no response from SEPTA. Appellee then filed a motion asking that further sanctions be imposed by the court against SEPTA. A copy of this motion was mailed to SEPTA which again failed to respond. On August 7, 1985, Judge Doty ordered judgment entered on behalf of appellee as sanction against SEPTA for failure to comply with the original court order of November 14, 1984. Judgment was entered on the issue of liability only, with damages to be assessed at arbitration.

SEPTA filed its answers to interrogatories on August 23, 1985. Three days later SEPTA filed additional answers to interrogatories, as well as a cross-claim against co-defendant, John Collington under Pa.R.C.P. 2252(d), and a petition to vacate the order of Judge Doty dated August 7, 1985.

On December 6, 1985, the Honorable Alfred J. DiBona Jr. issued an order denying the petition of SEPTA to vacate the order of August 7, 1985, and on February 5, 1986, Judge DiBona ...


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