someone may have loosened or removed and replaced the left rear wheel.
We do not consider it substantially significant that the plaintiff was unable to account for approximately 35 miles of use of the car during the six-day period preceding the accident. As we stated earlier, the law does not oblige the plaintiff to prove his case with "mathematical accuracy". The unexplained mileage, alone or in combination with the other evidence focused upon by the defendant, does not warrant our setting aside the jury's verdict.
Maginniss also assails the jury's verdict as grossly excessive. The decedent was 50 years, 10 months old at the time of his death. He was in good health and possessed habits of frugality.
As a clothing salesman he earned a salary ranging between $85 and $95 weekly. He was married and had one son, aged 14, at the time of the accident. The jury would have been justified in finding that he had a life expectancy of 26 years.
The decedent's employer Ward & Ward, Inc., which had just opened a branch store in Doylestown, regarded the decedent as a good salesman, who was conscientious and trustworthy. The evidence, if credited, indicated that, as a clothing salesman, he had an earning potential of $9000, with a prospect of becoming the store manager at an annual salary of $10,000.
We cannot fairly say the verdicts are grossly excessive in view of the decedent's health, frugality, life expectancy, earning capacity, which included prospects for substantial advancement. Arnold v. Loose, 352 F.2d 959, 964 (3 Cir. 1965); Wilson v. Nu-Car Carriers, Inc., 158 F. Supp. 127, 135 (M.D.Pa.1958); Johns, Admr. v. Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, 143 F. Supp. 15, 27, 28 (W.D.Pa.1956) aff'd per curiam 239 F.2d 385 (3 Cir. 1957).
We must reject the defendant's contention that "in testing a jury's award for excessiveness" we must consider the effect that income tax consequences would have exerted on any sum the decedent would have accumulated or contributed to the support of his family. Pennsylvania law precludes the jury from giving any effect to possible income tax consequences in determining damages. Girard Trust Corn Exchange Bank v. Philadelphia Transp. Co., 410 Pa. 530, 538, 190 A.2d 293 (1963).
Finally, the defendant contends that a new trial is necessitated because the Court overruled his objections to the qualifications of the plaintiff's expert witness, C. C. Balke, a metallurgist. We have carefully reviewed the record in this regard and perceive no error. While we permitted the witness to testify, we took adequate care to instruct the jury upon its prerogative to accord to his testimony whatever weight it felt it deserved. No specific prejudice is charged by the defendant, nor do we find any. The qualifications of defendants' experts were not greatly dissimilar from the plaintiff's expert, nor did they disagree with his opinion that the wheel came off the brake drum because it had not been rigidly tight.
Finding no merit in the defendant's motions, we enter the following:
Now, this 29th day of August, 1966, it is ordered that the motions of the defendant, Maginniss, for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, for a new trial be, and they are, denied.