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HARTZ v. BERNOT ET AL. (06/21/73)

decided: June 21, 1973.

HARTZ
v.
BERNOT ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from order of Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1968, No. 1319, in case of Joseph Anthony Hartz and Elizabeth Jane Hartz, his wife v. Ronald S. Bernot, an individual and City of Pittsburgh, a municipal corporation.

COUNSEL

Thomas S. White, Assistant City Solicitor, with him Ralph Lynch, Jr., City Solicitor, for appellants.

Frederick J. Francis, with him Meyer, Unkovic & Scott, for appellee.

Wright, P. J., Watkins, Jacobs, Hoffman, Spaulding, Cercone, and Spaeth, JJ. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 224 Pa. Super. Page 541]

The order granting a new trial is modified with direction to grant a new trial generally on all issues, and as modified, is affirmed.

Disposition

Order, as modified, affirmed.

Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.:

Appellants contend that the trial judge erred in granting appellees a new trial limited to damages. They argue that either the jury verdict should stand as entered, or that they are entitled to a new trial generally.

On February 21, 1968, while appellee, Joseph Hartz, was stopped in traffic on Banksville Road, in the City of Pittsburgh, his vehicle was struck by a City police car driven by the appellant, Ronald S. Bernot. The evidence adduced at trial indicated that the police car, traveling in the opposite direction, went out of control rounding a curve in the road, crossed the medial barrier, and struck appellees' vehicle. It was admitted that Bernot had been traveling well in excess of the speed limit at the instant he lost control. He testified that he had been chasing an allegedly stolen automobile. In the damage portion of the case, appellee's physician testified that as a result of the accident, Mr. Hartz suffered a herniated cervical disc which required surgery. Undisputed wage loss was determined to be in the amount of $1,140.00. Medical bills were introduced into evidence, without objection or opposition, in the amount of $1,820.80.

[ 224 Pa. Super. Page 542]

The trial judge fully and fairly charged the jury as to the applicable law.*fn1 The jury then returned a verdict in favor of the husband-plaintiff in the amount of $3,000.00, and in favor of the wife-plaintiff in the amount of $325.00. Plaintiffs filed post-trial motions alleging inadequacy of the verdict. Defendants did not file post-trial motions, nor did they raise any grounds for reversal at ...


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