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ROSE v. HOOVER (12/11/74)

decided: December 11, 1974.

ROSE, APPELLANT,
v.
HOOVER



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, Dec. T., 1971, No. 270, in case of Elbert H. Rose, Jr., v. Charles Hartman Hoover.

COUNSEL

Bruce E. Cooper, with him Charles E. Friedman, Richard S. Friedman, and Cooper, Friedman & Butler, for appellant.

James W. Evans, with him Goldberg, Evans & Katzman, for appellee.

Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Hoffman

[ 231 Pa. Super. Page 253]

Appellant, plaintiff below, won a jury verdict of $2,145. He then filed a motion for a new trial. The case is before this Court on an appeal from the judgment entered in the court below after denial of appellant's motion for a new trial. The appellant attacks the amount of the award of damages on several grounds.

On December 27, 1970, while Elbert H. Rose, appellant, was driving in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, his automobile was struck from the rear by a vehicle operated by appellee, Charles Hoover. Immediately after the accident, appellant was taken by the police to a doctor for treatment. Thereafter, he returned home without being hospitalized. Because of continuing symptoms, he experienced difficulty in his employment as a truck driver; two weeks after the accident he was

[ 231 Pa. Super. Page 254]

    admitted to Harrisburg Hospital. Initial diagnosis was that the dizziness experienced by the appellant was caused by cervical strain-soft tissue injury. Appellant's attending physician could not explain the persistent condition; he called in a psychiatrist who diagnosed the cause of appellant's symptoms as a psychoneurotic conversion reaction.*fn1 Symptoms that appellant's psychiatrist related to the psychiatric condition persisted at the time of the trial.

Appellant brought an action in trespass against appellee in which he claimed damages for permanent injuries. The action was tried in December, 1972. On December 14, 1972, the jury returned a verdict in the amount of $2,145. The issues on appeal concern the amount of the damage award; neither party challenges the finding of liability.

The appellant first contends that the lower court erred in allowing appellee's expert witness to testify after an in camera examination of the witness. He argues that the cross-examination in camera revealed that the expert's opinion was based solely on conjecture.

It is axiomatic that, if facts are in issue, an expert must base his opinion either on evidence adduced by one of the litigants or on facts observed personally. Jackson v. U. S. Pipe Line Co., 325 Pa. 436, 191 A. 165 (1937); Troxell v. Shirk, 130 Pa. Superior Ct. 40, 196 A. 899 (1938); see also Henry, Pennsylvania Evidence, ยง 561. Absent some basis ...


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