Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, in the case of Rose Sacco v. City of Scranton, No. 82 Civ. 4484.
Nicholas S. Mattise, with him, David Israel Fallk, Robert W. Munley, P.C., for appellant.
Perry J. Shertz, with him, Richard A. Russo, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, for appellee.
Judges Colins and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 513]
Rose Sacco (Appellant) appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County (trial court) denying her motions for new trial and judgment notwithstanding the verdict. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
Appellant was injured on September 11, 1980 as she stepped off of a curb in the City of Scranton and her foot came into contact with crumbling pavement on the street. Appellant's foot slid into a hole next to a sewer grate causing her to fall and sustain leg and back injuries. Appellant filed a complaint in the trial court
[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 514]
against the City of Scranton (Appellee) alleging that Appellee was negligent in maintaining its streets and in failing to warn of the defects in the pavement.*fn1
Appellee answered, asserting in new matter that Appellant's claim was barred by the governmental immunity provisions of the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act (Act).*fn2 Appellee also contended that it was not liable for Appellant's injuries because Appellant had failed to cross the street at a designated pedestrian cross-walk. Finally, Appellee contended that if it was found liable, the Act limited the damages recoverable by Appellant.
Appellee also joined the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation (DOT) as an additional defendant. Appellee alleged that Appellant's fall occurred on North Main Avenue in Scranton.*fn3 Appellee argued that North Main Avenue was a state road under the control of DOT and that DOT was therefore responsible for its maintenance. On November 2, 1983, after reviewing a stipulation of counsel, the trial court entered an order discontinuing the action as to DOT.
The trial court then bifurcated the trial as to the issues of liability and damages. A jury trial commenced and both parties presented evidence as to the location of Appellant's fall, the condition of the pavement, and Appellee's notice of that condition. On December 1, 1983, the jury returned a verdict ...