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EILEEN CUNNINGHAM v. RELIANCE INSURANCE COMPANIES (02/19/82)

SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


filed: February 19, 1982.

EILEEN CUNNINGHAM, APPELLANT,
v.
RELIANCE INSURANCE COMPANIES

No. 1344 Philadelphia, 1980, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Philadelphia at No. 4019 January Term, 1979.

COUNSEL

Daniel L. Thistle, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Bernard F. Pettit, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Brosky, Johnson and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 295 Pa. Super. Page 417]

This is an appeal from the trial court's order which dismissed appellant's motion for a new trial and for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. For the reasons herein stated, that appeal will be quashed.

The facts which are undisputed are as follows:

On August 28, 1978, appellant-plaintiff, Eileen Cunningham, age 19, and a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, was a passenger on a motorcycle owned and operated by Leroy J. Brown, a resident of the State of New

[ 295 Pa. Super. Page 418]

Jersey. Appellant was neither a relative of Leroy Brown nor was she a member of his household. While the motorcycle was proceeding on Buckshutem Road in Milleville, New Jersey, it was involved in a collision with an automobile operated by Robert Henderson, a New Jersey resident. As a result of this accident, the appellant sustained substantial bodily injuries for which she is still being treated. As of June, 1979, her incurred medical expenses amounted to $37,691.40.

The matter proceeded before a judge, sitting without a jury, and a verdict was rendered for appellee on January 29, 1980. Appellant then filed a motion for a new trial and for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The motion was dismissed.*fn1 No final judgment has been entered at the trial level.

Both parties agree that the order which forms the basis of the instant appeal is from the trial court's order which dismissed appellant's "exceptions".*fn2 However, although the appellee does not raise the issue, the appealability of an order is jurisdictional and may be raised sua sponte. Turner v. May Corp., 285 Pa. Super. 241, 245 n.2, 427 A.2d 203, 204 n.2 (1981).

We have said repeatedly that an order dismissing exceptions is interlocutory, and as such, an appeal may not be entertained until a final judgment has been entered. See Davanzo v. Finelli, 293 Pa. Super. 70, 437 A.2d 995 (1981);

[ 295 Pa. Super. Page 419]

Whitfield v. Farrior, 291 Pa. Super. 220, 435 A.2d 877 (1981); Karpe v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 290 Pa. Super. 559, 434 A.2d 1292 (1981). Consequently, the merits of the issues raised by appellant cannot be addressed.

The appeal is quashed.


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