Counterclaim forces Superior Court to quash former home improvement employee's appeal

By Melissa Busch | Apr 14, 2017

HARRISBURG – A Pennsylvania appeals court recently quashed an appeal of a summary judgment decision in York County that found a home improvement business did not owe a former employee more than $5,000 for his services.

The Superior Court on March 24 upheld a decision by the Common Pleas of York County to grant summary judgment in favor of Aspen Home Improvements Inc. and against Robert A. Reed. Since a counterclaim filed by Aspen Home has not been resolved, the court ruled that Reed cannot appeal, according to court records.

In June 2012, Reed sued his former employer, claiming the company owed him more than $5,300 for services he rendered during his employment with the company in 2011, according to court records. Aspen Home filed preliminary objections that were sustained by the trial court.

In November 2012, Reed filed an amended complaint. Then, Aspen Home filed an answer and a counterclaim against Reed, alleging retaliatory actions following him leaving the company, according to court records.

The case moved forward to compulsory arbitration, and the panel awarded $0 to both parties in October 2015. Reed appealed the panel’s decision. In May 2016, Aspen Home filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming Reed failed to respond within 30 days as required by state law.

In August 2016, the trial court granted a summary judgment in favor of Aspen Home in the case filed by Reed. It denied Aspen Home’s request for summary judgment on its counterclaim against Reed.

In his appeal, Reed argued that the trial court erred in granting the summary judgment in favor of Aspen Home because he provided an excuse for filing late. Also, he said the court improperly denied his request for a continuance of the summary judgment hearing, so he could hire a lawyer, according to court records.

The state court quashed the appeal.

“Because Aspen Home’s counterclaim remains outstanding, the order on appeal, disposing only of the issues raised in Reed’s complaint, is interlocutory and not appealable," the court said.

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