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CHARLES J. LAFFERTY v. SCHOOL DISTRICT PHILADELPHIA (11/16/76)

decided: November 16, 1976.

CHARLES J. LAFFERTY, JOHN W. LAFFERTY, RONALD C. LAFFERTY AND MARY LAFFERTY
v.
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in case of In the Matter of the Condemnation by The School District of Philadelphia for school purposes as per the deed description in Exhibit "A," No. 942 February Term, 1970.

COUNSEL

Eugene F. Brazil, with him Edward B. Soken, for appellant.

Augustus Sigismondi, for appellees.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Kramer did not participate. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 81]

Appellant appeals the refusal of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas to grant a new trial. We affirm.

Appellees manufactured precision forged-steel threaded fittings in two buildings on the opposite sides of the same city block.*fn1 Appellant filed a declaration of taking on February 5, 1970, and accepted possession on September 6, 1972. Appellees left all their machinery, equipment and tools in place and moved only their new materials and inventory to a new plant they built ten miles away. At trial following appellant's appeal from a board of view award, appellees contended

[ 27 Pa. Commw. Page 82]

    that their former facilities, especially the building in which the actual manufacturing took place, constituted an assembled economic unit which could not be moved. Appellees also contended that the condemned building was unique. After hearing conflicting testimony, the jury answered the trial judges submission of special findings that appellees' machinery could not be moved to form a comparable economic unit elsewhere without substantial or significant injury and that the building was unique. Appellees were awarded $962,000.00. Appellant's motion for a new trial and the denial thereof followed.

Appellant argues initially that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. We disagree. While there were certainly conflicts in the expert testimony, especially as to whether the machinery could be moved without damage, the record shows ample evidence to support the jury's findings. As the court below noted: "Much of [the] School District's contention does not concern the issue of the weight of the evidence as it does the credibility of the experts. . . ."

Appellant alleges error in the court's submission of the uniqueness issue to the jury and in its instruction that all values are to be determined as of the date of taking, including those of personal property left as part of the alleged economic unit. However, appellant took no specific exception to either point of the charge. Its claims, therefore, cannot be heard on appeal. Dilliplaine v. Lehigh Valley Trust Co., 457 Pa. 255, 322 A.2d 114 (1974).

Appellant contends further that the court erred in permitting evidence as to the value of stationery left on the premises.*fn2 Again, we cannot agree. Section ...


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