626 A.2d 637 (Pa.Super. 1993), Miller v. Peraino

Citation:626 A.2d 637, 426 Pa.Super. 189
Party Name:Jordan M. MILLER, T/A Bainbridge Animal Hospital v. Augustine PERAINO, Florence Peraino, Jamie L. Sacks, Edythe Barbara Harrison, and John Doe. Appeal of Augustine PERAINO and Florence Peraino.
Case Date:June 21, 1993
Court:Superior Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Page 637

626 A.2d 637 (Pa.Super. 1993)

426 Pa.Super. 189

Jordan M. MILLER, T/A Bainbridge Animal Hospital

v.

Augustine PERAINO, Florence Peraino, Jamie L. Sacks, Edythe

Barbara Harrison, and John Doe.

Appeal of Augustine PERAINO and Florence Peraino.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

June 21, 1993

Argued Feb. 9, 1993.

Page 638

[426 Pa.Super. 190] Nancy J. Winkler, Philadelphia, for appellants.

Phillip B. Silverman, Philadelphia, for appellees.

Before OLSZEWSKI, TAMILIA and FORD ELLIOTT, JJ.

OLSZEWSKI, Judge:

Augustine and Florence Peraino ["Perainos"] appeal the order entered February 4, 1992, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County which granted Dr. Jordan Miller's ["Miller"] preliminary objections to the Perainos' amended complaint. The incident generating this dispute began on July 14, 1990, when the Perainos took their pet Doberman, Nera, to Miller's veterinary hospital for oral surgery.

Miller performed the surgery and Mr. Peraino came to the animal hospital on July 16, 1990, to pick up Nera. Due to the large size of the dog, Mr. Peraino decided to return later with another person to help him carry her. Jamie Sacks and Edythe Harrison, two veterinary assistants, claim that Miller later viciously beat Nera to death because he was having difficulty getting the dog from the basement recovery room to [426 Pa.Super. 191] the waiting area upstairs where the dog would be picked up. Sacks claims that Miller kicked Nera and beat her with a pole until she fell backward. Harrison claims that she found the dog dead in a pool of blood in a cage. When the Perainos learned that the dog was dead, they met with Miller who told them that the dog had died of a heart attack. Subsequently, however, Sacks and Harrison, who by this time had quit their jobs because of Miller's alleged treatment of Nera, told the Perainos what they witnessed.

In August of 1990, Sacks, Harrison and the Perainos began picketing the veterinary hospital. Miller sued all four for defamation, intentional interference with a business and contractual relationship, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The Perainos filed an answer,

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new matter, and a counterclaim on May 24, 1991. On September 11, 1991, Miller filed preliminary objections to the counterclaim. On September 23, 1991, the Perainos filed an amended answer, new matter, and counterclaim. On October 2, 1991, Miller filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer. The lower court sustained the demurrer to Counts 1 and 5 of the Perainos' complaint, which alleged that the Perainos suffered intentional infliction of emotional distress. This appeal followed.

We note that only part of the Perainos' counterclaim has been dismissed as a result of the demurrer. Thus, it is necessary to inquire whether this appeal is interlocutory.

"A final order is one which ends the litigation or, alternatively, disposes of the entire case.... [A]n order is interlocutory and not final unless it effectively puts the litigant out of court.... The finality of an order is a judicial conclusion which can be reached only after an examination of its ramifications."

Praisner v. Stockner, 313 Pa.Super. 332, 337, 459 A.2d 1255, 1258 (1983). We have held that the dismissal of one or several counts from a...

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