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JACQUELINE FERGUSON v. PAUL KING (04/28/87)

filed: April 28, 1987.

JACQUELINE FERGUSON, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF JOANN EDMUNDS, DECEASED, APPELLANT,
v.
PAUL KING, ROSE ALMA KING, HIS WIFE, KEITH DORSETT, HALLIE A. DORSETT, HIS WIFE, AND THE SOUTH PITTSBURGH SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION, APPELLEES. SUSIE HARVEY, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF AARON EDMONDS, APPELLANT, V. SOUTH PITTSBURGH SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSOCIATION, PAUL R. KING, ROSE ALMA KING, KEITH M. DORSETT, AND HALLIE A. DORSETT, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Judgment Entered July 28, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Civil Division, at No. 1376 of 1983. Appeal from the Judgment Entered July 24, 1986 in the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, Civil Division, at No. 1600 of 1983.

COUNSEL

Alan H. Perer, Pittsburgh, for appellant (at 1196).

John J. Ross, Pittsburgh, for appellant (at 1197).

Daniel F. LaCava, Pittsburgh, for King, appellees.

Brosky, Johnson and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Montgomery

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 544]

These companion appeals involve identical factual backgrounds and legal issues. Each Plaintiff-Appellant is the administratrix of the estate of an individual who died in a fire which occurred on June 29, 1983 in a building in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. The building contained several apartments and a tavern. At the time, the decedent Aaron Edmonds was a tenant and the decedent Joann Edmunds was his guest. The Defendant-Appellee, South Pittsburgh Savings and Loan Association (hereinafter referred to as the "Association"), filed a motion for summary judgment in the lower court, asserting that it could not be held liable for any alleged negligence in the incident because it did not have possession or control of the building at any time

[ 362 Pa. Super. Page 545]

    material to the fire. The lower court sustained that motion, and ordered the entry of judgment in favor of the Association in each of the cases. The instant appeals arise from that Order. The Appellants assert that the lower court erred in entering summary judgment in favor of the Appellees. We are constrained to agree.

Summary judgment is governed by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1035(b), which provides, in pertinent part:

The judgment sought shall be rendered if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

See also Thorsen v. Iron and Glass Bank, 328 Pa. Super. 135, 476 A.2d 928 (1984). In the consideration of a motion for summary judgment, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts in the non-moving party's pleadings, as well as admissions on file, giving them the benefit of all reasonable inferences which may be drawn. Mattia v. Employers Mutual Companies, 294 Pa. Super. 577, 440 A.2d 616 (1982). Thus, the record as a whole must be examined in the light must favorable to the party opposing the motion. Community Medical Services of Clearfield, Inc. v. Local 2665, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, 292 Pa. Super. 238, 437 A.2d 23 (1981).

With such guidelines in mind, we have reviewed the pleadings, deposition transcripts, exhibits to both, and other matters which were part of the record before the lower court, and germaine to the motion for summary judgment submitted by the Association. It appears that the Association originally owned the building where the fire later occurred. It sold the building, on May 14, 1981, to Defendants ...


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