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WARGO v. PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY (01/04/54)

January 4, 1954

WARGO
v.
PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 178, March T., 1953, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1948, No. 2824, in case of Metro Wargo v. Pittsburgh Railways Company and Fiorino Martin. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

William J. Lancaster, for appellant.

Milton I. Watzman, with him Frederick N. Egler, George Y. Meyer, Norman A. Groudine and Watzman & Groudine, for appellee.

Before Stern, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 376 Pa. Page 169]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Plaintiff was a passenger in a street car, operated by the Pittsburgh Railways Company, which collided with a truck driven by the additional defendant, Martin. His head banged against the side of the car, his back, hip and head were injured and he had bruises

[ 376 Pa. Page 170]

    or cuts on his face, arm and leg which were of minor character. As a result of this collision, plaintiff claims that he had and still has severe pain in his back; that he is nervous; that he had dizziness and headaches which persisted until the trial; that he had running ears; and that he was permanently injured and unable to work. He was confined to bed for about three months. He was 51 years of age at the time of the accident, with a life expectancy at the time of the trial of 16.72 years.

The jury brought in a verdict "in favor of plaintiff of $15,000., to be paid as follows: $10,000. by Pittsburgh Railways Company and $5,000. to be paid by Martin." The Court apparently molded the verdict at some undisclosed time to read: "Verdict in favor of the plaintiff against both defendants in the sum of $15,000." Since no objection has been made to the changed or molded verdict, we will not pass upon the power of the Court to make the aforesaid change.

The Railways Company appealed from the judgment entered on verdict contending "(1) that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence and not supported by medical and other testimony; and (2) that the verdict was excessive."

The facts in this case are rather unusual. Wargo at the time of the accident had been doing whatever odd little jobs he could pick up. He had had a regular job assisting a priest at Mass and for these services he got one dollar for each Mass. However "he had to leave that job in 1947 on account of religion", so that his only job at the time of the accident was as a janitor for the Holy Ghost Church, for which he was paid $85. a month. He testified that ...


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