Claim of Ethel Grobengieser-
(a) Pain and suffering, inconvenience, impairment of earning power, humiliation and mental suffering due to disfigurement.
The testimony indicates Ethel Grobengieser was hospitalized for five days, experiencing periodic unconsciousness. Medical testimony reveals that she sustained a two-inch laceration to the back of the head. A flap had been torn from her scalp to the depth of the bone. Infection set in, and a rubber drain was inserted which had to be retained for some time. As a consequence of this injury, she suffered severe and frequent headaches. These headaches continue to recur but their frequency has considerably decreased. In addition, contusions were inflicted upon her ribs. A black and blue mark developed to the left of her left breast which was quite painful upon respiration. Her spine sustained injury and proved painful upon motion. She suffered pain in the back of her neck. She further complained about visual difficulty. A tender scar remains on the scalp which restricts combing and disallows beauty treatment. The apparent effects of these latter injuries have worn off, with the one remaining symptom of recurring headaches.
The fact that one is not employed at the time of an injury would not justify the court in excluding the possibility of future employment. Vol. 25, Corpus Juris Secundum, Damages, § 87, page 620; Campbell v. City of Philadelphia, Appellant, 252 Pa. 387, 97 A. 456.
The test is whether or not the capacity to earn has been diminished as a result of the injury. That is, the award must be based on the loss of earning power. Leonhardt v. Green, Appellant, 251 Pa. 579, 96 A. 1096; Tingle v. Curtis-Martin Newspapers, Inc., 318 Pa. 537, 179 A. 80; McCaffrey v. Schwartz, Appellant, 285 Pa. 561, 132 A. 810.
On the basis of the foregoing rules of law, it remained for the determination of the jury as to whether the injuries sustained by Ethel Grobengieser resulted in an impairment of her earning power.
In view of the injuries, construing plaintiff's case most favorable to her, a jury award of $ 5,000.00 does not appear beyond the bounds of a reasonable verdict.
Claim of Virginia M. Buydos-
(a) Pain, suffering and inconvenience.
Virginia M. Buydos sustained lacerations of the head and was in a state of shock for several hours. She was hospitalized four days, and did not work for several weeks although her salary was paid during said period. No medical testimony was presented relative to her injuries, a complete recovery exists, and no evidence exists as to impairment of earning power.
In view of the foregoing, the only measure of damages which Virginia M. Buydos was entitled to recover was reasonable compensation for pain, suffering and inconvenience- past, present and future.
It is my considered judgment that the award of the jury in the amount of $ 6,150.00 for pain, suffering and inconvenience is grossly excessive and violently shocks the conscience of the Court. An award of $ 1,500.00 would be fair, ample and just.
Where the court considers the verdict returned in favor of the plaintiff as excessive, the proper procedure is not to grant a new trial absolutely but only conditionally, with an order of remitter. Culver v. Lehigh Valley Transit Co., 322 Pa. 503, 186 A. 70.
The award made in behalf of John Grobengieser appears reasonable.
The award made in behalf of Ethel Grobengieser appears reasonable.
It will be directed that Virginia M. Buydos remit all in excess of $ 1,500.00 within ten days upon condition that a new trial be granted if she fails to do so.
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