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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. RAYMOND W. TWENTIER AND ELFRIEDA TWENTIER (08/24/83)

decided: August 24, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT
v.
RAYMOND W. TWENTIER AND ELFRIEDA TWENTIER, HIS WIFE, APPELLEES. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA ET AL., APPELLANTS V. NEIL REEB, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County in the case of Raymond W. Twentier and Elfrieda Twentier, his wife v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, No. 525 of 1979; and from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in the case of Neil Reeb v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, et al., No. 2530 November Term, 1979.

COUNSEL

Herbert L. Olivieri, Chief of Torts Litigation Section, with him LeRoy S. Zimmerman, for appellants.

Allan H. Cohen, Gatz, Cohen, Segal & Koerner, for appellees, Raymond W. Twentier and Elfrieda Twentier, his wife.

Donald E. Matusow, with him Ronald L. Wolf, Litvin, Blumberg, Matusow & Young, for appellee, Neil Reeb.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers, Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Doyle. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 538]

The Commonwealth appeals the denial of post-trial motions in two separate but herein consolidated cases. We affirm.

Raymond W. Twentier and his wife sued the Commonwealth in Beaver County Common Pleas Court for injuries he sustained in an accident involving a Commonwealth vehicle on May 10, 1977. Neil Reeb sued the Commonwealth in Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court for injuries sustained on September 10, 1978, when his motorcycle collided with a medial barrier on a highway "construction cross-over" designed by the Commonwealth. Both cases went to trial, resulting in the following verdicts: Twentier, $650,000 and his wife $10,000, to which $146,020.04 and $2,253.76, respectively, were added by the trial court as delay damages; and award of $1,440,000 and $284,483 in delay damages was made to Reeb.

The Commonwealth filed post-trial motions in each case seeking to mold the verdicts to the $250,000 limit imposed by Section 2 of the Sovereign Immunity Act (Act 152),*fn1 and to strike the delay damages. Both

[ 76 Pa. Commw. Page 539]

Common Pleas Courts denied these motions in the respective cases.*fn2

The Commonwealth argues that Act 152's limitation of damages applies, even though these causes of action accrued prior to the Act's effective date (i.e., September 28, 1978).

In Gibson v. Commonwealth, 490 Pa. 156, 415 A.2d 80 (1980), our Supreme Court concluded that Act 152 could not be applied to causes of action arising prior to its effective date. The Commonwealth contends that Gibson is limited to retroactive extinguishment of an entire cause of action, but that it does not preclude ...


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