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MARY JEAN GLICK AND DAVID LYNCH v. MARTIN AND MOHLER (12/31/87)

filed: December 31, 1987.

MARY JEAN GLICK AND DAVID LYNCH, JR., APPELLANTS,
v.
MARTIN AND MOHLER, INC., LANTZ BUILDERS, INC., AND HIGH CONSTRUCTION, INC.



Appeal from the Order entered on September 5, 1986, in the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Civil Division, at No. 991-1986.

COUNSEL

Joseph A. McIntyre, Lancaster, for appellants.

Allan Molotsky, Philadelphia, for Martin and Mohler, appellees.

Joel D. Smith, Lancaster, for Lantz, appellees.

Cirillo, President Judge,*fn* and Beck and Hester, JJ.

Author: Beck

[ 369 Pa. Super. Page 430]

In this appeal we consider whether construction companies working on a property can be held liable for damages resulting from a criminal attack occurring on the property. We find that appellants Mary Jean Glick and her husband, David Lynch, Jr., failed to state a cause of action against appellee construction companies. We therefore affirm the order of the trial court sustaining appellees' demurrer and dismissing appellants' complaint.*fn1

In considering preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer, we apply the following standards:

[ 369 Pa. Super. Page 431]

[P]reliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer admit as true all well and clearly pleaded material, factual averments and all inferences fairly deducible therefrom. Conclusions of law and unjustified inferences are not admitted by the pleading. Starting from this point of reference the complaint must be examined to determine whether it sets forth a cause of action which, if proved, would entitle the party to the relief sought. If such is the case, the demurrer may not be sustained. On the other hand, where the complaint fails to set forth a cause of action, a preliminary objection in the nature of a demurrer is properly sustained.

Abarbanel v. Weber, 340 Pa. Super. 473, 479, 490 A.2d 877, 880 (1985) (citations omitted).

We therefore take as true the following facts alleged in appellants' complaint:

5. On or about September 2, 1977, Olde Town Lancaster, Inc. purchased numerous dwellings located in and around the Historic District of the City of Lancaster, including those dwellings located at 123-125 South Christian Street.

6. Olde Town Lancaster, Inc. entered into a written contract with defendant, Martin and Mohler, Inc., whereby defendant, Martin and Mohler, Inc., agreed to furnish all materials and perform all the labor necessary for the renovation and construction of buildings in the Olde Town Lancaster project.

7. Under the terms and conditions of the contract, defendant, Martin and Mohler, Inc., agreed to accept responsibility for initiating, maintaining and supervising all safety precautions and programs in connection with the Olde Town Lancaster project.

8. On or about 1979-1980, defendant, Lantz Builders, Inc., became involved as a contractor in the Olde Town Lancaster project.

9. Subsequent to 1979-1980, defendant, Lantz Builders, Inc., changed its name to High Construction, Inc.

[ 369 Pa. Super. Page 43210]

. Prior to March 25, 1984, the defendants knew, or should have known, that this location was being frequented by itinerants, and other individuals who used the premises in order to carry on illicit activities, ...


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