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KATHLEEN KNUDSEN v. DELAWARE COUNTY REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL AUTHORITY (04/22/87)

decided: April 22, 1987.

KATHLEEN KNUDSEN, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF DAVID E. KNUDSEN, DECEASED, APPELLANT
v.
DELAWARE COUNTY REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL AUTHORITY, PERCY JONES, THE BOROUGH OF UPLAND AND CHESTER-UPLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in case of Kathleen Knudsen, Administratrix of the Estate of David E. Knudsen, Deceased v. Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority, Percy Jones, The Borough of Upland and Chester-Upland School District, No. 82-9247.

COUNSEL

Daniel L. Thistle, Beasley, Hewson, Casey, Colleran, Erbstein & Thistle, for appellant.

George J. McConchie, Cramp, D'Iorio, McConchie & Forbes, P.C., for appellees.

Judges Craig and Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 410]

Kathleen Knudsen, administratrix of the estate of David Knudsen (Appellant), appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County denying Appellant's motion for delay damages upon a verdict recovered by her against the Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority (DELCORA). We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

On April 18, 1982, David Knudsen, Appellant's son, died from injuries received in an accident that occurred on December 2, 1981. On the day of the accident, David Knudsen, a five-year-old kindergarten student at the Main Street Elementary School in Upland, was struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross 6th Street in Upland. The vehicle was owned by DELCORA and driven by its employee, Percy Jones.

[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 411]

Appellant subsequently instituted a wrongful death and survival action against DELCORA and Jones. The authority joined the Borough of Upland (Borough) and the Chester-Upland School District (District) as additional defendants.*fn1 At trial, a compulsory non-suit was entered by the court in favor of the Borough and the District. The case was then submitted to the jury, which rendered a verdict of $445,000 solely against DELCORA. The trial judge, acting pursuant to Section 8553(d) of the Judicial Code (Code), 42 Pa. C.S. ยง 8553(d), molded the verdict to exclude no-fault death benefits paid to Appellant, thereby reducing the verdict to $430,000.

Appellant then filed a motion seeking to have delay damages added to the verdict pursuant to the then-operational provisions of Pa. R.C.P. 238 (Rule 238).*fn2 The

[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 412]

    trial judge, relying on Section 333 of the JARA Continuation Act of 1980,*fn3 which provides in relevant part that "[n]o interest shall accrue in any . . . action [against a local ...


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