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LANGSAM v. MINITZ

August 18, 1972

Dora LANGSAM and Harry Langsam
v.
Jay MINITZ


Bechtle, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: BECHTLE

BECHTLE, District Judge.

 In this case the Court is presented by defendant's motion to dismiss with the very difficult question of whether or not the case should be dismissed because plaintiffs' claim is, to a legal certainty, below the requisite Ten Thousand Dollar ($10,000.00) jurisdictional minimum of this Court. After reviewing the briefs of counsel, the present record, and the evidence offered by counsel at a special hearing on the motion, the Court concludes that the claim of neither plaintiff meets the requisite jurisdictional amount and, therefore, their claims should be dismissed on that ground. The relevant supporting facts and the reasoning of the Court are as follows:

 Plaintiffs are husband and wife, and reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Defendant is an individual who resides in Alliance, Ohio. Plaintiffs' claim is a personal injury claim that arises out of injuries received by plaintiff-wife on July 28, 1970. She was walking on the sidewalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and was struck by defendant's automobile while he was backing out of a motel parking lot. Plaintiff-husband makes claim for the necessary costs and expenses incurred by his injured wife and loss of consortium.

 Plaintiff-wife was seen immediately after the accident by Dr. Frank Burstein, who diagnosed her condition as hematoma and contusion sprain of the left thigh and hip, and post-traumatic anxiety reaction. X-rays were taken and no fracture or dislocations appeared. Therapy, in the form of heat treatments, and medicine were prescribed. She continued seeing Dr. Burstein on a regular basis for therapy until November 20, 1970. Until this point, she incurred special damages to the extent of the medical bills of Three Hundred Twenty-Six Dollars ($326.00). This amount was paid by plaintiff, Harry Langsam, and such constitutes part of his claim. Also, the plaintiff, Dora Langsam, missed one month work at her job as a part-time helper in a bakery. This loss of earnings amounted to One Hundred Eight Dollars ($108.00).

 On June 29, 1971, the defendant had his doctor, Dr. Lieberman, examine Mrs. Langsam in the office of plaintiffs' counsel. As a result of that examination, Dr. Lieberman made the following findings and conclusions:

 
1. General appearance was normal. No swelling, deformity, or discoloration was found.
 
2. No tenderness was found.
 
3. All movements of the hip were normal, in range, and painless.
 
4. No muscle weakness or sensory changes were found.
 
5. No limp was seen.
 
6. Bending was normal and painless in all directions.
 
8. Stress on the lumbo-sacral and sacro-iliac joints ...

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