No. 970 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Civil Action -- Law, at No. 3175 May Term, 1971.
Mitchell H. Klevan, Philadelphia, for appellants.
Thomas G. Mundhenk, Doylestown, for appellee.
Cercone, Spaeth and Lipez, JJ. Cercone, President Judge, concurs in result.
[ 266 Pa. Super. Page 388]
This is an appeal from an order granting a new trial to one of five plaintiffs but refusing to grant a new trial to appellants as the other four plaintiffs. The issue on this appeal is whether appellants are entitled to a new trial because of the alleged inadequacy and inconsistency of the verdicts.
[ 266 Pa. Super. Page 389]
On August 25, 1969, John Jaskolski was driving his automobile along Route 1 in Penndel. With him were his wife Marion, his minor son Joseph, his minor daughter Jacqueline, and his mother-in-law Anna Hevener. While the Jaskolski automobile was stopped in traffic it was struck in the rear by appellee's automobile. The occupants of the Jaskolski automobile were taken to Lower Bucks Hospital. After being treated and examined there, they were released and told to see their own physician.
The next day they went to see Dr. Clare Hodge. Dr. Hodge examined the Jaskolskis and Mrs. Hevener. Mr. Jaskolski was diagnosed as having suffered whiplash injuries of the cervical, dorsal, and lumbar regions of the spine. These injuries caused him pain in his neck and in the upper and lower parts of his back. Dr. Hodge treated these injuries with anti-inflammatory agents, muscle relaxants, and pain medications. The pain allegedly caused Mr. Jaskolski to miss three weeks of work, with a consequent loss of wages of $462. The medical expenses incurred by Mr. Jaskolski for his injuries totaled $158.25 for medication, hospital charges, and Dr. Hodge's treatment.
Mrs. Jaskolski was diagnosed as having sustained contusions of the spine, abdominal wall, bladder, pelvis, and left ankle, along with a sprain of her left ankle. She also suffered traumatic paralytic ileitis and traumatic menorphagia. She testified that in addition to vaginal bleeding and acute loss of bowel function, she experienced pain on urinating and pain in her back and neck. Treatment of her injuries required that she be hospitalized. She was admitted to St. Joseph Hospital on August 28, 1969, and remained there until September 10. She was in cervical traction during her entire stay in the hospital and in pelvic traction for part of her stay.*fn1 She continued treatments with Dr. Hodge after leaving the hospital but stopped going to his
[ 266 Pa. Super. Page 390]
office in 1971. She testified that she still experienced severe headaches and had had bowel and urinary problems since the accident. The medical expenses incurred by Mr. Jaskolski on behalf of his wife were $480.00 for treatment by Dr. Hodge, $216.64 for medication, $597.00 for hospitalization at St. Joseph's Hospital, and $29.00 for examination and treatment at Lower Bucks Hospital.
Joseph Jaskolski, the son, who was only one year old at the time of the accident, suffered some superficial abrasions to both of his knees. Dr. Hodge examined him and ordered that a local ointment be applied. The medical expenses allegedly incurred by Mr. Jaskolski on behalf of Joseph were $15.43 for medication, $8.00 for examination at Lower Bucks Hospital, and $25.00 for treatment by Dr. Hodge. Jacqueline Jaskolski, the daughter, was four years old at the time of the accident and suffered abrasions of her left cheek and right knee. Dr. Hodge treated her and testified that she would have a small permanent scar on her left cheek caused by a puncture wound received from a piece of glass. ...