Appeals from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, Nos. 564 and 3224 of 1966, in cases of John M. Houlihan et ux. v. Dora Hazlett, and Cuyler C. Hazlett, Jr. v. Virginia M. Houlihan et al.
George J. McConchie, with him Cramp & D'Iorio, for appellants.
William P. O'Neill, with him John R. Graham and Arthur Levy, for appellees.
Bell, C.j., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Chief Justice Bell.
These are appeals from the Judgments of the Court of Common Pleas after (1) a verdict in No. 166 awarding appellees (plaintiffs) (John and Virginia Houlihan) $11,390.22 and (2) a verdict in favor of appellee-wife (Virginia Houlihan) in No. 167. In each case, the appellants, Dora Hazlett in No. 166, and Cuyler Hazlett, Jr. and Dora Hazlett in No. 167, who were the verdict losers, filed a motion for a new trial, each of which motions was dismissed.
In No. 166, plaintiffs-appellees brought a trespass action against appellant seeking damages for medical expenses incurred, pain and suffering to appellee-wife, and compensation for repair of appellee-wife's automobile.
In No. 167, appellant-husband (Cuyler Hazlett) commenced a trespass action against appellee (Virginia Houlihan) seeking recovery for property damage to his automobile. Appellee (Virginia Houlihan) joined appellant's wife (Dora Hazlett) as an additional defendant.
This case*fn* arose out of an automobile collision that occurred in Haverford Township, Delaware County. The day before the collision ten inches of snow had fallen and as a result the road on which the accident occurred allowed only two lanes for automobile traffic. Virginia Houlihan, plaintiff-appellee in No. 166, testified that as she was driving she noticed a parked vehicle on the left side of the road about 150 feet ahead, and that when she reached a point about 75 feet from the parked vehicle she noticed Dora Hazlett (appellant-wife) driving a vehicle in the opposite direction, toward her. When appellee's car was five to ten feet away from the parked vehicle, the automobile driven by appellant-wife, which was 45 to 50 feet behind the parked vehicle swerved without warning into her lane of traffic, causing the collision.
Appellants raise two arguments on appeal, neither of which has any merit. Appellant-wife in No. 166 first contends that the damages awarded by the jury were excessive. As a result of the collision, the appellee-wife had four fractured front teeth, two of which required root canal work. All four teeth required capping as a result of the injury. Medical damages consisted of $455 for dental work and $35 for a medical examination. The doctor who treated appellee-wife testified that appellee suffered severe pain during the first few days and gradual pain thereafter and also that the treatments he administered were quite painful. On the basis of this testimony the jury awarded appellees $10,000 for the pain and suffering of appellee-wife, in addition to $1,390.22 which represented $490 for medical expenses, and $900.22 for damage to appellee-wife's automobile.
Appellant alleges that the verdict was excessive and that the lower Court abused its discretion in not awarding a new trial. We are of the opinion that the verdict was undoubtedly large, but it was not so excessive as to constitute the denial of a new trial an abuse of discretion. Cf., for example, Guzman v. Bloom, 413 Pa. 576, 198 A.2d 499 ...