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FLORIG v. SEARS (03/25/57)

March 25, 1957

FLORIG
v.
SEARS, ROEBUCK & CO., APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 114, Jan. T., 1957, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, Nov. T., 1952, No. 425, in case of Emil J. Florig v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Morris Wolf, with him Maxwell Strawbridge, Bernnard M. Borish, and Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, for appellant.

Wm. J. Moran, Jr., with him Harry N. Moran, Jr., Wm. J. Moran, III, and Hillegas & Moran, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Bell

[ 388 Pa. Page 421]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Plaintiff brought an action in trespass for personal injuries resulting from two widely separated accidents. The serious injuries which he suffered on June 14, 1952, he alleged, resulted from an accident on March 17, 1951. Plaintiff, on March 17, 1951, entered one of the defendant's warehouses in order to purchase some siding. Plaintiff tried to pass around the supervisor of defendant's warehouse, and, because of the inadequacy of light, stepped into a hole in the floor of the warehouse and fell, thereby injuring his left hand and wrist. Although he claims that he suffered constant pain, he lost no time from work and made no claim for any injuries resulting from this accident until January 23, 1953, over 22 months later.

On June 14, 1952 - 15 months after the first accident - while painting the roof of a neighbor's house, plaintiff's left wrist and hand suddenly gave way and he fell to a concrete floor on the ground level, breaking his right heel and suffering contusions. His leg was in a cast for six weeks. The accident occurred, according to plaintiff, as follows: "I started at nine o'clock in the morning, and by three o'clock in the afternoon I only had about two more square yards to do. To do that roof, I had to move the ladder about five or six times. And to do those two square yards, I had to make one more move. I put the ladder in position, got my stain, and went up and finished the two square

[ 388 Pa. Page 422]

    yards, tried to. I pur my left hand against the roof, worked with the right hand, and before I know, my left hand just gave way,*fn* collapsed. I feel back to my elbow, and I though I could stop it from going any further, but I didn't succeed, and I kept on rolling towards the left.

"I did grab for the ladder with my right hand, and got hold of the ladder, and lifted the ladder from the roof. And through all that commotion, the ladder gave way on the bottom, and out she went, and the ladder and all fell down."

It was not until seven months after this second accident and twenty-two months after the first accident, that the plaintiff sued the defendant for damages for the injuries which he allegedly sustained in both accidents. Plaintiff contends that the first accident was attributable to the defendant's negligence and that the second accident resulted from the injury to his wrist which he sustained in the first accident.

Defendant denied that it was responsible for the first or second accident and further denied that the first accident caused the second accident or the injuries received therein. During the course of the trial considerable medical testimony was presented by both litigants and it is this testimony which raises the crucial point in this appeal.

The jury returned a verdict for plaintiff in the amount of $11,000., based almost entirely upon the injuries he suffered in the second accident. Defendant's motions for judgment n.o.v. and for a new trial were denied by the lower Court.

Defendant is pressing, in this appeal, its motion for a new trial. Defendant contends (1) that legally competent medical testimony was required to establish a

[ 388 Pa. Page 423]

    the casual connection: Rich v. Philadelphia Abbatoir Co., 160 Pa. Superior Ct. 200."

In Fink v. Sheldon Axle & Spring Co., 270 Pa. 476, 113 A. 666, medical testimony was required to connect a paralytic stroke with being struck by a swinging door. Similarly, medical testimony was held necessary where plaintiff contended that pneumonia resulted from a cut in his arm two months previously: Anderson v. Baxter, 285 Pa. 443, 132 A. 358. Medical testimony was likewise held to be necessary where a plaintiff claimed that pneumonia was ...


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