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DAVIDSON v. CICUTO

April 6, 1962

Betty V. DAVIDSON, Plaintiff,
v.
Carmel CICUTO, Administratrix of the Estate of Anthony Leroy Cicuto, Deceased, Defendant. Otha SIMONS, Jr., Plaintiff, v. Carmel CICUTO, Administratrix of the Estate of Anthony Leroy Cicuto, Deceased, Defendant. Dana MILLER, a minor, by his parent and natural guardian, Betty V. Davidson, and Betty V. Davidson, in her own right, Plaintiffs, v. Carmel CICUTO, Administratrix of the Estate of Anthony Leroy Cicuto, Deceased, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

These are three consolidated non-jury actions based upon claims for personal injuries arising out of an automobile collision.

The undisputed facts establish a collision which occurred between vehicles proceeding from opposite directions on a three-lane highway. Plaintiff, Otha Simons, Jr., was the operator of one vehicle which carried as guest passengers and plaintiffs in this proceeding, Betty Davidson and Dana Miller, a minor. The deceased defendant was the operator of the other vehicle in the collision.

 After a most careful evaluation and consideration of all the evidence, oral and documentary, it is my considered judgment, taking into account the presumption of freedom from fault which exists on the part of the deceased defendant, that said defendant was guilty of negligence which was the proximate cause and a substantial contributing factor in bringing about the accident and that none of the plaintiffs were guilty of contributory negligence.

 I am impelled to further conclude that the deceased defendant was rational and alive at the time of the accident and that he met his death as a result of the accident and was not in extremis or dying immediately before or at the time of the accident.

 As a result of the accident, each of the plaintiffs sustained considerable expenses, most extensive pain, suffering and inconvenience, while plaintiff Betty Davidson sustained the additional element of impaired earning power.

 DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY BETTY DAVIDSON

 Betty Davidson secured a high school education and in addition to her aptitude to perform clerical work, managed a dance studio and entertained both as a singer and dancer. She possessed unusual charm.

 As a result of the accident she suffered a most severe deformity of her right eye which causes double vision and materially affects her charm and beauty. This condition precipitated such despondency that on one occasion she attempted suicide. She is rendered unable to follow her profession as a dancer and entertainer and, as a consequence to the permanent condition of double vision, she is unable to pursue employment in her training for office work, bookkeeping and limited accounting.

 It is my judgment that an award for pain, suffering and inconvenience, past, present and future, together with impairment of earning power, should be in the amount of $ 100,000.00.

 In addition, Betty Davidson is responsible for the expenses of her son of a previous marriage, Dana Miller, which expenses were a proximate result of the injury sustained by the son, an additional award will be made in her favor in the amount of $ 1,829.49.

 DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY DANA MILLER, A MINOR

 Dana Miller, age fourteen at the time of the accident, sustained a fracture to his right leg, injuries to his left arm and hand causing him to lose sensation in the small finger of the left hand. With the exception of scars which mark him in various places on his body, he has made a satisfactory recovery from all other injuries and no sound basis exists to conclude that he has suffered an impairment of earning power. An award of $ 20,000.00 would compensate him for the injuries incurred.

 DAMAGES SUSTAINED BY OTHA SIMONS, JR.

 Otha Simons, Jr., sustained a fracture of the right arm, injuries to the right little finger, severe bruises of both knees and of the side of his temple. Based upon his loss of wages and the nature of his injuries, it is my judgment that an award in the amount of $ 20,000.00 would be consistent with the degree of injury evinced in the record.

 FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. All of the plaintiffs are citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania residing in the Western District of Pennsylvania and the defendant is a citizen of the State of Ohio.


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