Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1964, No. 1270, in case of Lois Pace et al. v. Kroger Co.
J. Tomlinson Fort, with him Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellant.
Gilbert E. Morcroft, for appellees.
Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Jacobs, J.
[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 140]
Kroger Company appeals a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, Lois Pace and Eckle Pace, in a malicious
[ 210 Pa. Super. Page 141]
prosecution action. The jury awarded Mrs. Pace $10,000 in compensatory damages and Mr. Pace $171.25 for legal fees. The action arose from a 1963 incident in which Mrs. Pace was accused of shoplifting in the Kroger store in the Crafton-Ingram Shopping Center in Allegheny County.
During the course of the jury's deliberation the foreman sent the following note to the judge: "It is requested that the court submit a list of those items which can be considered under compensatory damages. /s/ Eugene Krawczak, foreman No. 1." Without notifying either counsel for defendant or plaintiffs the judge replied in writing to the jury as follows:
"Dear Members of the Jury:
"In accordance with your Inquiry, which will be made part of the record of this case, please be advised that the items which can be considered as compensatory damages are as follows:
"(1) Mrs. Pace's loss of liberty, if you find that she was detained or arrested by the Kroger Co. or the ...