counsel and the Court resulting in prejudice to one party or the other. With the purpose of meticulously protecting the interests of all litigants from any possible misunderstanding or prejudice which experience has taught me often arises by holding side-bar conferences in the presence of the jury, I have dispensed with this procedure and immediately removed the jury when any sidebar conference is requested. I cannot conceive of how a practice geared to protect the interest of all litigants could have prejudiced defendant's case in the administration of the instant trial.
3. Decedent who was a foreman for the Equitable Gas Company would have earned $ 24,000 to date of trial. Based upon the United States mortality tables he had a potential life span from date of trial of 14.8 years.
Predicated on decedent's past earnings his earnings during his life potential would have approximated $ 110,000. His funeral was $ 2,248. The evidence produced established that decedent was a frugal, kind, pleasant husband and parent with a long record of devotion to his family and job.
Verdicts in other cases are not of much value as criteria in appraising the result reached in the instant case. Permissible differences in arriving at verdicts must be allowed between juries. The economics of the situation in the period involved should be considered. The amount of the verdict must be received in the light of what it is capable of purchasing. There cannot be a standard verdict, Kessen v. Bernhardt, D.C., 157 F.Supp. 652.
This trial further introduced the imponderables of the value of a father's services, superintendence, attention, care, and education which he would have provided for his children had he survived.
As this Circuit has frequently reiterated, while an award may be high, it should stand if there is ample evidence to justify it. It is not my prerogative to arbitrarily substitute my judgment for that of the jury. Trowbridge v. Abrasive Co. of Philadelphia, 3 Cir., 190 F.2d 825; Lebeck v. William A. Jarvis, Inc., 3 Cir., 250 F.2d 285; Thomas v. Conemaugh & Black Lick Railroad Co., 3 Cir., 234 F.2d 429.
A jury, upon weighing the evidence, could readily have concluded that no act of negligence on the part of Equitable Gas Company was a substantial factor in bringing about the accident.
In the exercise of my judicial discretion, upon re-examination and meticulous review of the record, viewing the verdict in the overall setting of the trial and considering the legal principles which the jury and the legal principles which the jury was bound to apply to the facts, it is incumbent upon me to abstain from interfering with the verdict unless it is quite clear that the jury has reached a seriously erroneous result, Lind v. Schenley Industries, Inc., 3 Cir., 278 F.2d 79. Substantial evidence exists in the record to support the verdict of the jury.
After again applying most reflected judgment to the record, I believe that under all the credible evidence justice sustains a right of recovery in the amount of $ 10,000 under the Survival Statute and in the amount of $ 75,000 under the Wrongful Death Statute.
An appropriate order is entered.
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