Appeal from order of Superior Court, Oct. T., 1970, No. 1682, affirming judgment of Court of Common Pleas, Trial Division, of Philadelphia, March T., 1963, No. 2080, in case of Vero Bentivoglio v. James R. Ralston.
Joseph V. Restifo, for appellant.
Joseph G. Manta, with him James M. Marsh, and LaBrum and Doak, for appellee.
Jones, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Eagen. Former Mr. Chief Justice Bell and former Mr. Justice Barbieri took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
In this action to recover damages for personal injury, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff against the defendant in the sum of $7,500. Contending that trial errors influenced an inadequate and unfair award, the plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial limited to the question of damages. When the trial court denied this motion, and judgment was entered on the verdict, the plaintiff filed an appeal in the Superior Court. The judgment was subsequently affirmed, without opinion, with Judge Hoffman filing a dissenting
opinion in which Judge Spaulding and Judge Cercone, joined. See 218 Pa. Superior Ct. 121, 275 A.2d 691 (1971). We granted allocatur.
The action stemmed from a collision on March 16, 1963, between two automobiles; one operated by the plaintiff and the other by the defendant. Both vehicles were proceeding north on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia and admittedly the defendant's automobile ran into the rear of the plaintiff's automobile, after it had come to a stop because of a traffic light at the intersection where Red Lion Road crosses the Boulevard highway. The testimony, however, was in conflict as to exactly how long a period the plaintiff's automobile was stopped before the collision occurred, and also as to whether or not it had switched from one traffic lane to another immediately before being hit.
The litigation should have long since been finally resolved nevertheless, we are persuaded another trial is unfortunately necessary.
The extent of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the collision was vigorously disputed at trial, and the medical testimony offered by the defendant on this issue seriously conflicted with that offered by the plaintiff.
In the main, the plaintiff claimed that as a result of the accident he suffered an injury to his neck and back which necessitated the wearing of a neck collar and a back brace continuously for a period of approximately seven months, and the back brace intermittently thereafter up to the date of trial; that he also suffered a loss of the motor muscles in his legs; and that immediately after the accident he ...