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FRONTAGE v. ALLEGHENY COUNTY. (12/03/63)

December 3, 1963

FRONTAGE, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY.



Appeal, No. 185, March T., 1963, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1958, No. 879, in case of Frontage, Inc. v. County of Allegheny. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Alexander Unkovic, with him William G. Boyle, and Kountz, Fry and Meyer, for appellant.

Francis A. Barry, First Assistant County Solicitor, with him Maurice Louik, County Solicitor, for County of Allegheny, appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Eagen

[ 413 Pa. Page 32]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE EAGEN

This is a land condemnation case wherein the property owner appeals from the judgment below, alleging that the award was inadequate and that certain trial errors influenced the jury's verdict.

[ 413 Pa. Page 33]

The issue has been tried in common pleas three times, and on two previous occasions, this Court directed retrial. See, 400 Pa. 249, 162 A.2d 1 (1960), and 408 Pa. 165, 182 A.2d 519 (1962).

The land involved, consisting of 8.859 acres, was condemned by the County of Allegheny for the purpose of establishing air navigation and terminal facilities, in connection with the Greater Pittsburgh Airport. Viewers awarded the appellant $13,150, including detention compensation. The jury, at the trial now under review, awarded $12,240, including $9000 for the value of the land taken, and detention money in the sum of $3240.

The characteristics of the land are adequately described in the opinion of this Court reported in 408 Pa. 165, supra, and need not be repeated here.

At trial, the expert testimony as to the fair market value of the land was in sharp disagreement. It varied between the sums of $7500 and $58,000. Unquestionably, there was sufficient competent testimony to justify the amount awarded by the jury.

The credibility of the oral testimony, under such circumstances, was for the jury to appraise: Springer v. Allegheny Co., 401 Pa. 557, 165 A.2d 383 (1960). The discrepancy therein was for the fact-finding body to resolve: Chiorazzi v. Commonwealth, 411 Pa. 397, 192 A.2d 400 (1963). In view of all the testimony in the record, we cannot say that the verdict was inadequate or against the weight of the evidence. Neither can we find any abuse of discretion in the refusal of the lower court to grant a new trial on this basis. Where the trial court refuses a new trial on the ground of inadequacy, ...


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