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GAITA v. PAMULA. (04/16/56)

April 16, 1956

GAITA, APPELLANT,
v.
PAMULA.



Appeal, No. 131, March T., 1955, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, May T., 1953, No. 435, in case of Mary Jane Gaita and Vincent L. Gaita v. Leonard L. Pamula and Vincent Gaita. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Louis I. Schwartz, with him John A. Blackmore, Hubert I. Teitelbaum and Goldstock, Schwartz, Teitelbaum & Schwartz, for appellants.

Frank B. Quinn, with him Quinn, Leemhuis, Plate & Dawyer, for appellees.

Before Stern, C.j., Jones, Bell, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

Author: Arnold

[ 385 Pa. Page 172]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

In this action of trespass plaintiff-wife appeals from the refusal of her motion for a new trial, but the plaintiff-husband did not appeal. The action arises out of a collision between defendant's automobile and that of plaintiff's husband in which the wife was a passenger. The husband was joined as an additional defendant.

[ 385 Pa. Page 173]

On July 4, 1952, plaintiffs, residents of Pittsburgh, were visitors in Erie, and at the time of the accident were driving towards the motel where they were staying. The husband was driving, and occupying the front seat with him were his wife (in the middle) and his aunt on the right. As they entered an intersection at a speed of 20-25 miles per hour, the rear of the car was struck by the rear of defendant's car, which was in the process of backing into the street on which plaintiffs were proceeding. Defendant then, and has since, admitted his fault in the collision.

Although the wife-plaintiff felt no immediate pain, she later claims to have suffered great pain and injury as a result of the accident, necessitating considerable medical and hospital expense, and resulting in permanent disability. Medical testimony was presented to the effect that the injuries resulted from this accident, which was contradicted by the medical testimony of defendant.

At a prior trial of this cause, the jury awarded a verdict of $2,000.00 in favor of the wife and against both defendants, allowing her $1,027.25 for medical expenses, $800.00 for future operation, and $172.75 for pain and suffering. The court below awarded a new trial because a portion of those expenses had been claimed by the husband, which could not have been recoverable by him except that he be found free from negligence. It is to be noted that if her testimony and that of her witnesses as to her pain and suffering, medical and hospital expense, and disability, were believed, that verdict would have been clearly inadequate.

On the instant trial the jury found only for the husband for his property damage in ...


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