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SHARON K. VOGELSONG CREE AND SHIRLEY A. VOGELSONG HESSE v. CHARLES D. HORN AND H.C. GABLER (03/22/88)

filed: March 22, 1988.

SHARON K. VOGELSONG CREE AND SHIRLEY A. VOGELSONG HESSE, APPELLANTS,
v.
CHARLES D. HORN AND H.C. GABLER, INC., APPELLEES, V. SHARON VOGELSONG CREE



Appeal from the Judgment entered October 19, 1987, in the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, Civil, No. 2483 Civil 1983.

COUNSEL

Gregory Martin, York, for appellants.

Christian S. Erb, Jr., Harrisburg, for appellees.

Cavanaugh, Olszewski and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 372 Pa. Super. Page 297]

This personal injury action arose from a motor vehicle accident which occurred on August 21, 1981. Appellant, Sharon K. Vogelsong Cree, was the driver of one of the vehicles in which her sister, appellant Shirley A. Vogelsong Hesse, was a passenger. After coming to a stop for a traffic signal, appellants' car was hit from behind by a

[ 372 Pa. Super. Page 298]

    tractor-trailer driven by appellee, Charles D. Horn. Questions of negligence and contributory negligence were hotly contested at trial. Appellants' contended that their vehicle was hit while they were stopped at a red traffic signal. Conversely, appellee claimed that appellants proceeded forward when the light turned green and then suddenly stopped. Another contested issue was the injuries, if any, suffered by appellants. It is this second issue which forms the basis of this appeal.

After hearing the testimony, the jury returned with a verdict in appellants' favor. Specifically, in response to interrogatories the jury found that appellee was negligent, that his negligence was a substantial factor in causing the accident, and that appellants were not contributory negligent. On the issue of damages, the jury awarded each appellant the sum of $10,000 as "other damages." No damages were awarded for appellants' lost earnings and diminished future earning capacities. After the verdict was entered, appellants filed a timely motion for a new trial on the issue of damages. That motion was denied and this appeal followed*fn1 wherein appellant raises four issues for our consideration:

I. Was the jury's verdict regarding loss of earnings and impairment of earning capacity as to Sharon Vogelsong Cree, and the jury's verdict as to the present and future impairment of earning capacity as to Shirley Vogelsong Cree, against the weight of the evidence presented at trial and in contradiction to all medical testimony in the case, including the testimony of appellees' own medical experts, Dr. Davis and Dr. Patterson?

II. Were the total verdicts of the jury as to each appellant regarding damages sustained by each appellant as a result of this accident, against the weight of the evidence

[ 372 Pa. Super. Page 299]

    presented at trial, and contrary to the laws set forth by the honorable trial judge in his charge to the jury?

III. Did the court err in denying appellants' motion in limine and permitting appellees' counsel to argue to the jury that the injuries and damages sustained by appellants could not have been as severe as they were claiming, given the relatively minor extent of the property damage sustained by appellants' vehicle in this accident, when there was no evidence from any expert in that regard?

IV. Did the court err in permitting the testimony of Lee Tinkey, R.N. to testify regarding various jobs available in the community, the duties of those jobs, the rates of pay of those jobs, when Ms. Tinkey testified that said information was obtained from various employers in the area, and therefore, such ...


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