Appeal, No. 213, April T., 1958, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, May T., 1956, No. 8, in case of Joseph Murosky, administrator of estate of Thomas R. Murosky, deceased v. Jerome W. Spaulding et al. Order reversed.
Will J. Schaaf, with him John A. Spaeder, and Marsh, Spaeder, Baur, Spaeder & Schaaf, for appellant.
John A. Blackmore, for appellee.
John E. Britton, with him Gifford, Graham, MacDonald & Illig, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (woodside, J., absent).
[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 307]
The sole question in this appeal is whether the court below abused its discretion in failing to grant a new trial because of the inadequacy of the verdict.
On June 12, 1955, at approximately 10:00 p.m. on a rainy evening, Thomas R. Murosky was killed in a collision between an automobile driven by Jerome W. Spaulding and one driven by James P. Junod. Murosky was a passenger in the Junod car. In the ensuing lawsuit instituted by Joseph Murosky, father of Thomas Murosky, the jury awarded a verdict in the amount of $3,000.00 in a survival action and $1,332.93 in a death action. From the refusal of the court below to grant a new trial because of the inadequate verdict in the survival action the plaintiff has appealed.
The verdict in the death action is not under attack since the sum returned by the jury in that action was agreed upon during the trial. Three actions grew out of this accident. They were tried together. In two of the cases the verdicts have not been questioned. One of those cases was that of James P. Junod v. Jerome W. Spaulding in which the jury found the plaintiff and defendant both guilty of negligence. The other was that of Jerome W. Spaulding, a minor, by George E. Spaulding, his father and guardian, and George E. Spaulding in his own right, and Marlene Graham, a minor, by Arthur E. Graham, her father and guardian, and Arthur E. Graham in his own right, v. James Junod, George E. Spaulding, guardian ad litem of Jerome W. Spaulding, minor, additional defendant, in which the jury found for Marlene Graham in the sum
[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 308]
of $250.00 and for her father $134.50 for medical expenses and $2,176.01 for damages to his automobile. The verdict was against the defendant and the additional defendant, who had been severed as a party plaintiff.
At the trial evidence was presented to show that Thomas Murosky was 21 years old at the time of his death; he was in good health; was attending college at night and was gainfully employed as a tester at the Hammermill Paper Co., a position which required no advanced technical training but one in which the deceased's actual technical training was of help. He attended Cathedral Preparatory School for boys in Erie; he was graduated at the end of a four-year course in June 1952; in the last year of his attendance at preparatory school he worked part time to earn funds to assist his parents and provide a fund to defray his expenses at Gannon College, where he matriculated in the fall term of 1952. While carrying a full time schedule of classes at Gannon College he continued his outside employment to provide the means necessary to defray the expenses of his education and also to continue his aid to his parents for the needs of the family. Upon completing two years of studies and credits toward a career as a chemist and chemical engineer, in September 1954 he took a steady daytime position in the chemistry laboratory at Hammermill Paper Co. in Erie, in which position he applied himself steadily with credit, as borne out by the high praise of his work given by Dr. Alfred H. Croup, managing ...