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RONALD L. MCCARTNEY v. DUNN & CONNER (07/14/89)

decided: July 14, 1989.

RONALD L. MCCARTNEY, APPELLANT,
v.
DUNN & CONNER, INC., ANDREW J. CONNER AND ROBERT C. WARD, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Civil at No. 717 A of 1983.

COUNSEL

Robert Lesuer, Erie, for appellant.

Theodore O. Struk and Stephen M. Houghton, Pittsburgh, for appellees.

Montemuro, Johnson and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Montemuro

[ 386 Pa. Super. Page 565]

This is a consolidated appeal, filed by Ronald L. McCartney, M.D., from two Orders entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County on July 25, 1988. Under No. 01234 Pittsburgh 1988, the trial court granted appellees' motion for a partial summary judgment, filed initially on January 6, 1988. Under No. 01235 Pittsburgh 1988, the trial court granted appellees' motion for summary judgment, filed initially on April 27, 1988. Appellees are the law firm Dunn & Conner, Inc., and Andrew J. Conner and Robert C. Ward. Following a careful review of the extensive record in this case, we affirm the entry of summary judgment and the entry of partial summary judgment.

On October 15, 1986, the appellant filed a complaint, claiming that the appellees had been negligent in their legal representation of the appellant in a prior lawsuit which arose and was ultimately litigated in the state of Texas. In

[ 386 Pa. Super. Page 566]

    an Opinion filed by the trial court on March 29, 1988, the court accurately sets forth the facts underlying the Texas lawsuit:

[Appellant] is a board certified radiologist. He left his practice in California in 1975 to become associated with Huguley Memorial Seventh-Day Adventist Medical Center, Inc. (hereinafter "Huguley"). At that time, the medical center was under construction. On August 25, 1976, [appellant] and Huguley executed a written agreement entitled "Provision of Radiology Services Agreement" which essentially provided that the [appellant] was being employed by Huguley to organize, supervise and operate a radiology department at Huguley. Article 9.02 of the agreement granted each party the right to terminate the agreement on ninety (90) days written notice to the other party.

On December 24, 1975, [appellant] signed three more documents -- a Letter of Intention and two Notes. The thrust of these writings was that the hospital would advance living expenses to the [appellant] during the period of time that the hospital was being constructed and the radiology department was being organized, and that once the radiology unit was operational, the [appellant] would pay back to Huguley the sum of the advances made.

The hospital opened in early 1977 and in September of that year, the governing board of the hospital gave [appellant] a ninety-day notice of termination, as required by the Radiology Services Agreement. [Appellant] left the employ of the hospital in December of 1977. In November of 1978, he brought suit against Huguley alleging that: (1) Huguley had breached an oral agreement to employ the [appellant] as head of the radiology unit for at least five (5) years; (2) that Huguley breached the medical staff bylaws by terminating the [appellant] without notice and a hearing; and, (3) that the wrongful discharge had caused the [appellant] to be defamed. Huguley counterclaimed

[ 386 Pa. Super. Page 567]

    for the loans it had made to the [appellant] to subsidize him prior to ...


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