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C. WILLIAM NYE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/17/84)

filed: August 17, 1984.

C. WILLIAM NYE, JR., INDIVIDUALLY AND AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATES OF BARBARA A. NYE, DECEASED, AND KAREN L. NYE, DECEASED, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, CARL A. HOUTZ



No. 121 Harrisburg 1983, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Dauphin County at No. 2572 S. 1979.

COUNSEL

Neil J. Rovner, Harrisburg, for appellant.

George F. Douglas, Jr., Carlisle, for Houtz, appellee.

Mark Garber, Jr., Harrisburg, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Wickersham, Olszewski and Hoffman, JJ.

Author: Wickersham

[ 331 Pa. Super. Page 211]

This is an appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County granting a new trial limited to the issue of damages to appellee Carl A. Houtz.

In December of 1978, Karen L. Nye was driving an automobile westbound on Route 322 between Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Hershey, Pennsylvania with her mother, Barbara Nye, as a passenger. Testimony at trial indicated that appellee Carl Houtz's reckless driving forced the Nye car off the road and onto a raised medial barrier that divided the east and west-bound lanes of Route 322. Witnesses observed Karen Nye attempting to bring her car back under control and off the medial barrier. Her failure to regain the proper lane resulted in a fatal head-on collision with a vehicle headed east-bound on Route 322.

Appellant C. William Nye, individually and as administrator of the estates of his wife and daughter, brought the instant wrongful death and survivorship action against the appellees, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation,*fn1 and Carl A. Houtz.

At trial, the actuary for plaintiff-appellant Nye testified concerning the loss of wages of Karen Nye caused by her untimely death. His testimony established a gross loss of earnings for the time period between her death and the trial of $37,237.00. The cost of maintenance for this time period was estimated to be $12,643.00. Thus, the total pretrial loss of earnings was $24,594.00.

The actuary then discussed his calculations for future loss of earning capacity. He testified that the gross future wage loss would be $490,401.00. He then subtracted a

[ 331 Pa. Super. Page 212]

    maintenance cost of $241,105.00, resulting in a future wage loss of $249,296.00.*fn2 When this figure is added to the pretrial loss, we arrive at a total ...


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