The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARSH
This is an action by plaintiff, Stanley P. Cielicki, Jr., against the Presbyterian-University Hospital, a non-profit Pennsylvania corporation, for an alleged malpractice occurring on September 23, 1971, following an accident and injury to his wrist on the previous day.
The plaintiff has resided in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania since April, 1974.
The complaint was filed on January 4, 1974, and alleges that plaintiff is a "resident of the Borough of Richmond, City and State of New York."
The matter is before us on the jurisdictional issue as to the citizenship of the plaintiff at the time the suit was brought. Plaintiff's citizenship was challenged by defendant in its answer to the amended complaint. A hearing was held on the issue on October 3, 1974. The evidence adduced by the plaintiff may be summarized as follows:
The plaintiff was born on June 11, 1944, in French Hospital, New York City, New York. His family lived in Manhattan until they moved to Staten Island, New York, when Stanley was 12 years old. At the age of 18, Stanley moved away from his parents to Queens, New York. After he was married he moved to his wife's home in Pennsylvania. Later they moved to Staten Island from where he was drafted into the military service. Following plaintiff's induction, his wife moved to her parents' home at 1431 Sixth Street, Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania. Mr. Cielicki spent approximately 11 1/2 months on active duty in the military from the beginning of 1968 to December, 1968. Upon release from active service, he and his wife took up residence at 190 Lafayette Avenue, Staten Island, New York. Prior to his military service and subsequent thereto, Mr. Cielicki was employed by N. Levy Trucking Company, 252 Jersey Street, Staten Island, New York.
In the early part of 1970, Mr. Cielicki and his wife moved to Pennsylvania to live with the parents of his wife at 1431 Sixth Street, Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania. He and his family lived at this address until December 15, 1971, when they moved into a rented house at R.D. #1, Latrobe, Pennsylvania. After his injury Mr. Cielicki continued to reside with his family in Pennsylvania until August, 1972, at which time he moved to New York and lived with his mother and stepfather at No. 4 Dellafield Place, Staten Island, New York. Marital difficulties as well as a decision to consult a Dr. Accetola in New York regarding the injury to his wrist were the reasons he left Pennsylvania in August, 1972. He had been out of work since the injury and although there was initially a question as to who should pay his Workmen's Compensation benefits, it was finally decided that Pennsylvania was responsible, although his employer was a Michigan trucking firm. Mr. Cielicki's Workmen's Compensation benefits from Pennsylvania became effective January 3, 1972 and he received payments until December, 1972. After he moved to New York in August, 1972, payment checks were forwarded to his New York address. He never received Workmen's Compensation checks from any state other than Pennsylvania.
When plaintiff moved to New York, he took all of his clothes with him. He called his wife at Latrobe and discovered the telephone was disconnected. He then called the home of his in-laws at Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania; his wife answered the telephone and he was informed that she had moved in with her parents and had placed the family's furniture in storage.
Plaintiff continued to correspond with his wife while in New York, both by letter and telephone. In December, 1972, he began to work for the Waterfront Trucking Company in New York, a concern owned by his uncle. He continued to work as a truck driver for Waterfront until February, 1974. He also continued to forward support payments to his wife although there was no legal separation between the parties. Plaintiff testified that subsequent to his departure to New York to visit Dr. Accetola, conversations and correspondence with his wife grew worse and she had indicated to him that she was going to file for divorce. Mrs. Cielicki testified to the fact that the couple was undergoing marital difficulties and further that she initiated divorce proceedings which were filed at the April Term, 1973, in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. She subsequently dropped the proceedings after approximately nine months. Mr. Cielicki testified that he was notified of a registered letter in September or October, 1972. He refused to accept or sign for this letter because he assumed the letter contained matters with respect to his wife's intention to secure a divorce. No evidence was introduced to show the contents of the letter.
Plaintiff returned to live with his wife and family in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania in April, 1974.
On cross examination, plaintiff agreed that he was asked the following questions and made the following answers at his deposition taken on June 13, 1974:
A: 1431 Sixth Street, Natrona Heights, ...