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FRED N. GALLO AND FLORA GALLO v. REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY CITY SHARON (05/14/75)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: May 14, 1975.

FRED N. GALLO AND FLORA GALLO, APPELLANTS,
v.
REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF SHARON, APPELLEE

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County in case of Fred N. Gallo and Flora Gallo v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Sharon, No. 240 June Term, 1973.

COUNSEL

Henry E. Sewinsky, with him Rodgers, Marks & Perfilio, for appellants.

Bernard Goldstone, with him Routman, Moore, Goldstone & Valentino, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 72]

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Sharon, on May 23, 1973, condemned in fee simple real estate owned by Fred N. Gallo and Flora M. Gallo (condemnees). A board of viewers was appointed and it awarded damages in the sum of $20,000. Condemnees appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County, and after trial a jury awarded damages for the property condemned, in the amount of $18,500. Following denial of a motion for a new trial and entry of judgment on the verdict, condemnees filed a timely appeal to this Court.

Our scope of review is limited in an appeal from a denial of a motion for a new trial. A motion for a new trial is addressed to the discretion of the trial court, based on the circumstances of the particular case, and the court's action in granting or refusing such a motion will not be reversed in the absence of a manifest abuse of discretion or a clear error of law. Felix v. Baldwin-Whitehall School District, 5 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 183, 289 A.2d 788 (1972).

Condemnees' motion for a new trial asserted that the court below erred in striking Fred N. Gallo's opinion as to the fair market value of the condemned property and in refusing to allow him to state his opinion as to the fair market value of the property. On appeal here, condemnees state the questions presented to be (1) whether

[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 73]

    a property owner may base his opinion of fair market value upon statements made to him by his qualified appraiser and (2) whether a property owner may state an opinion as to the fair market value of his property when he has owned it, has made improvements to it, and has lived next to it for 20 years, without basing his opinion upon reproduction costs, the income approach, or comparable sales.*fn1

The condemnees do not, in this appeal or in their motion for a new trial below, maintain that the jury's award was inadequate. Under such circumstances, Granowitz v. Erie Redevelopment Authority, 432 Pa. 243, 247 A.2d 623 (1968), which was followed in Sevich v. Commonwealth, 434 Pa. 68, 252 A.2d 644 (1969), is controlling and dispositive of the matter.

The condemnees did not demonstrate, or even attempt to demonstrate, that their recovery was adversely affected by the alleged errors. See Department of Transportation v. Meadville Cooperative Association, 13 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 451, 320 A.2d 848 (1974). It is well settled that error in the abstract is not sufficient to warrant a retrial. Siegfried v. Lehigh Valley Transit Company, 334 Pa. 346, 6 A.2d 97 (1939).

In Granowitz v. Erie Redevelopment Authority, supra at 245, 247 A.2d at 624, it was held, relying on Rankin v. McCurry, 402 Pa. 494, 166 A.2d 536 (1961), as follows:

"'A verdict winner complaining of trial errors to secure a new trial must convince the trial court that

[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 74]

    the verdict in his favor did not cure the errors and that the errors produced an unjust result.'"

Since condemnees, the verdict winners in the court below, have failed to demonstrate, or even undertake to demonstrate, how the purported errors were not cured by the verdict in their favor or how they produced an unjust result, we are compelled to affirm.*fn2

Judgment affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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