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NOBLE C. QUANDEL CO. v. SLOUGH FLOORING (05/02/89)

filed: May 2, 1989.

NOBLE C. QUANDEL CO., APPELLEE,
v.
SLOUGH FLOORING, INC., APPELLANT



Appeal from the Judgment entered March 23, 1988, in the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Civil, No. 3101-S-1983.

COUNSEL

Thomas A. Beckley, Harrisburg, for appellant.

Edward E. Kopko, Pottsbille, for appellee.

Wieand, Olszewski and Tamilia, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 238]

This is an appeal from a judgment entered upon a jury verdict by the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in favor of appellee (hereinafter "Quandel"), and against appellant (hereinafter "Slough"). Slough presents two issues for review: (1) whether the trial court erred in its charge to the jury; and (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion relating to the admission of Quandel's damages.*fn1

Quandel is a general construction company. In December of 1979, Quandel contracted with Greenwood School District in Perry County to build a school. Part of the school building included a multi-purpose room with a synthetic floor. The construction of the floor was beyond the expertise of Quandel, therefore, it subcontracted with Slough Flooring, Inc. to do the work.

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 239]

Quandel was responsible for pouring a cement sub-floor, which had to be within certain tolerances before the synthetic floor could be poured by Slough. Quandel was unable to bring the sub-floor within the specified tolerances and entered into a separate cost-plus contract with Slough to level and pour the floor. Slough poured the floor; however, at certain spots delamination occurred. Eventually, the floor was torn up and replaced.

Quandel then sued Slough for damages arising from Slough's alleged breach of its subcontract agreement with Quandel. Slough, in a separate action, sued Quandel for consequential damages arising from Quandel's alleged breach of the same subcontract. By stipulation of the parties, the cases were consolidated for trial.

The case was tried before a jury on June 8, 1987, resulting in a verdict in favor of Quandel and against Slough in the amount of $23,633.35. Slough then filed post-trial motions which were denied by the trial court on February 29, 1988. On March 23, 1988, judgment was entered on the jury verdict. Slough then filed the instant appeal.

Slough presents two issues for review: (1) whether the trial court erred in its charge to the jury; and (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion regarding the admission of Quandel's damages.

Slough first argues that the trial court's charge to the jury was erroneous in two respects: first, the trial court improperly vested responsibility for interpreting the terms of a clear written agreement to the jury; and second, it improperly instructed the jury that all final responsibility was Slough's pursuant to the contract terms. Slough asserts that the clear written language provides that Quandel was to be responsible for the condition of the sub-floor and that Slough was to be responsible for the synthetic floor. Despite these terms, however, Slough argues that the trial court instructed the jury that it could find Slough responsible for ...


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