No. 84 W.D. Appeal Dkt. 1983, Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court at No. 1044 Pittsburgh 1981, affirming the Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County Civil Division at No. 79-110 CD, Pa. Super. ,
Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson, Zappala and Papadakos, JJ.
This is an appeal by allowance from an order of the Superior Court, 317 Pa. Super. 513, 464 A.2d 440 (Cavanaugh, J., concurring in the result), affirming a partial judgment for appellants. The underlying action arose out of an accident which resulted in damage to appellants' personal property, that being a helicopter. The appellants
had sought full recovery for the value of their property damage, and for their resulting loss of income. The jury, however, limited their award to the value of time lost due to the damaged condition of the helicopter. On the issue of property damage the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County denied appellants' motions for judgment n.o.v. and/or a new trial, and the Superior Court affirmed. Upon petition we granted allocatur. We affirm.
Beechwoods Flying Service Inc. leased a helicopter to the Al Hamilton Contracting Corporation for use in their contracting business. The helicopter was registered under the number N-77-AH. For the purpose of clarity we shall designate that helicopter as the "Blue" helicopter.
During the course of the lease, the Blue helicopter was put out of service and sent to the shop. The lease for the Blue helicopter was a fully executed written agreement for a monthly charge of 3,550 dollars, plus 70 dollars per operating hour. Under the terms of this lease Hamilton supplied the pilot and Beechwoods obtained the insurance coverage.
While the Blue helicopter was being serviced and in the shop Hamilton required the use of a substitute, and Beechwoods supplied another helicopter, registered as number N-301-JT, which we will designate the "Yellow" helicopter. The use of the Yellow helicopter as a substitute and the terms of its use, are the subject of this suit.
The Yellow helicopter was substituted under a separate oral agreement. The terms of that oral agreement were the issues disputed at trial. The parties could agree that the Yellow helicopter was leased for 160 dollars per hour, that Beechwoods would supply the fuel, and Hamilton the pilot. They could not agree as to who was to insure the craft.
On September 28, 1977, the substituted Yellow helicopter was flown by a Hamilton employee to a Hamilton construction site where it came in contact with a truck operated by a Hamilton employee. The resulting damage to
the helicopter was 85,000 dollars. Beechwoods sued Hamilton,*fn1 and Hamilton defended upon the ground that Beechwoods was required to provide insurance, that in fact they did, and that they were reimbursed by the insurance coverage they were obliged to provide for Hamilton. In addition, the truck driver, Larry Wilsoncroft, appellee herein, was sued in trespass for his alleged negligence in operating the truck. However, the pilot, Fred Ferlito, was not a named defendant.
Appellants have raised three issues for our review: first, whether the trial court erred in permitting defendant Hamilton to introduce evidence that appellants had insurance coverage on the damaged helicopter; second, whether the trial court failed to properly instruct the jury on the issue of imputing the negligence of an employee to an employer; and third, whether the trial court erred in failing to grant judgment n.o.v. and/or a new trial where the evidence established that ...