No. 500 Pittsburgh, 1982, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, Civil Division, at No. G.D. 78-11984.
Neil J. Rovner, Harrisburg, for appellant.
John D. Newborg, Pittsburgh, for Giant Eagle, appellee.
Alan Shapiro, Pittsburgh, for Stanley Magic, appellees.
Brosky, McEwen and Beck, JJ.
[ 330 Pa. Super. Page 78]
This is an appeal from the order of the court below directing that judgment on the cases be marked as satisfied. Appellant contends the lower court erred in so ordering because where a plaintiff enters into a release with one joint tort-feasor, the amount of which exceeds that tort-feasor's later determined proportionate share of liability, the Comparative Negligence Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7102, precludes the non-settling tort-feasor from tendering the plaintiff only the difference between the verdict and the settlement amount where the difference is less than the non-settling tort-feasor's proportionate share of liability. We disagree with appellant and affirm the order of the trial court.*fn1
This case arose when appellant, George Charles, the plaintiff below, brought an action in trespass against Giant Eagle Markets, Inc. for damages as a result of injuries sustained when he slipped and fell by an entrance to one of its retail stores. Giant Eagle joined Stanley Magic Door, Inc. and Jed Door*fn2 as additional defendants.
Before the case was tried, Giant Eagle settled with appellant for $22,500 in exchange for a joint tort-feasor's release.*fn3 After trial, the jury returned a verdict against Giant Eagle and Stanley in the amount of $31,000 dollars. Furthermore, the jury found Giant Eagle to have been 60%
[ 330 Pa. Super. Page 79]
negligent and Stanley to have been 40% negligent. This verdict, had there been no release, would have necessitated a payment of $18,600 by Giant Eagle and $12,400 by Stanley.
Stanley entered judgment on the verdict and claimed that since Charles had already received $22,500 from Giant Eagle that Charles was only entitled to receive the difference between that amount and the $31,000 verdict ($8,500) notwithstanding Stanley's liability of $12,400. Stanley paid $8,500 to Charles, but Charles reserved his claim to the remainder of Stanley's liability of $3,900.
Stanley filed a petition to have the judgment marked satisfied contending that the $31,000 verdict and judgment had been paid in full after Charles' receipt of $22,500 from Giant Eagle and $8,500 from Stanley. The lower court agreed with Stanley ...