No. 36 January Term, 1977, Appeal from the Order of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, No. 1081, C.D. 1975, Reversing the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, February Term, 1971, No. 1151.
Leon W. Silverman, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Dennis L. Friedman, Peter A. Galante, Philadelphia, for appellee.
Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Larsen, JJ. Manderino, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.
Appellee, Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia, has condemned the realty upon which appellant Douglas Waste Paper Company conducts its scrap metal and paper business, but has not yet taken possession of the premises. Unable to obtain special permits authorizing operation of its business, Douglas has not relocated in the immediate area. It has also found the cost of property outside the immediate area too expensive for its type of business. Douglas therefore has remained on the condemned premises as the Redevelopment Authority's tenant.
A jury awarded Douglas general damages of $30,000 for real property and $10,000 for machinery and equipment taken by the Redevelopment Authority.*fn1 The jury also awarded Douglas $10,000 for special dislocation damages under Section 601-A(b)(3) of the Eminent Domain Code.*fn2
The trial court denied the Redevelopment Authority's motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and new trial, on the issue of dislocation damages. The Commonwealth Court reversed, concluding that Douglas may not receive the award of special dislocation damages while it still occupies the premises. We granted Douglas's petition for allowance of appeal.*fn3
The question here is whether Douglas, before surrendering the premises, is entitled to special dislocation damages under Section 601-A(b)(3) of the Code. Though we agree with the Commonwealth Court's determination that Douglas is not entitled to dislocation damages while in possession of the premises, we believe that the court of common pleas properly exercised its discretion in submitting the question of dislocation damages to the jury. We hold that, upon surrendering the condemned premises, Douglas is entitled to receive payment of the jury's award of $10,000 for dislocation damages. We therefore vacate the order of the Commonwealth Court and remand the case to the court of common pleas with directions to modify the judgment accordingly.
The Commonwealth Court correctly concluded that a "condemnee" like Douglas cannot ...