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NICHOLAS LATTANZE AND THERESA CAPPELLI v. THOMAS F. SILVERSTRINI (07/23/82)

filed: July 23, 1982.

NICHOLAS LATTANZE AND THERESA CAPPELLI, APPELLANTS,
v.
THOMAS F. SILVERSTRINI, APPELLEE



No. 2002 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Judgment of the Court of Common pleas of Montgomery County, Civil Division, at No. 76-18016.

COUNSEL

Edward L. McCandless, Philadelphia, for appellants.

William H. Kinkead, Norristown, for appellee.

Wickersham, Rowley and McEwen, JJ.

Author: Rowley

[ 302 Pa. Super. Page 219]

This is an appeal from a judgment entered in favor of appellee in appellant's trespass action seeking damages for personal injuries claimed to have resulted from a motor vehicle accident.*fn1 Appellant contends, inter alia, that the trial court erred in directing a verdict for the appellee and denying his motion for a new trial.*fn2 We agree and, therefore, reverse and remand for a new trial.

[ 302 Pa. Super. Page 220]

In an appeal from a directed verdict, the Appellate Court must consider the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the appellant. Litwinko v. Gray, 267 Pa. Super. 541, 407 A.2d 42 (1979). If a jury could have reasonably concluded on the basis of that evidence and those inferences that liability should rest with the appellee, then the decision to direct a verdict was in error. See Cox v. Equitable Gas Co., 227 Pa. Super. 153, 324 A.2d 516 (1974). If there is any room for doubt, the trial court should not direct a verdict. Stephens v. Carrara, 265 Pa. Super. 102, 401 A.2d 821 (1979).

The evidence presented at trial may be summarized as follows: On July 26, 1975, appellant Nicholas Lattanze, his friend Theresa Cappelli,*fn3 and several children were involved in an auto accident with a van driven by appellee. The accident occurred when the appellee made a right turn after signaling his intention to make a left turn. At the time of collision, both vehicles were traveling at approximately five miles per hour.

As a result of the collision, appellant was thrown forward against the windshield, rebounded off the windshield, glanced against the driver's side door and then back into his seat. Appellant struck the left side of his forehead against the windshield and his left side and arm against the door. Immediately after the accident appellant indicated he was all right and did not complain of any physical problems.

Approximately six hours after the accident, however, appellant awoke from a nap with a severe headache and pain in his neck, across both shoulders, and in his left arm. When he moved, it felt like "things inside . . . were ripping". Dr. Albert Grayce was called and was asked to come to the appellant's home that evening.*fn4 Dr. Grayce agreed to do so. After examining appellant that evening, Dr. Grayce found that he had muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder region,

[ 302 Pa. Super. Page 221]

    restrictions of movement in both arms, the neck and lower back, and his left knee was swollen and bruised. Appellant was given a shot ...


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