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CUNNINGHAM v. DAVIS

May 27, 1988

Grier Cunningham, Jr.
v.
Darlene Davis and Sultan N. Porter



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VAN ANTWERPEN

 VAN ANTWERPEN, D.J.

 From the non-jury trial on May 16, 1988, we make the following findings of fact.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. Plaintiff Grier Cunningham is a 25 year old Philadelphia resident who has been employed by the Prudential Insurance Company since January, 1986. In high school, he was active in sports and after graduation actively played sports, including basketball, baseball and football.

 2. Shortly before noon on April 29, 1987, plaintiff was operating a 1986 Buick Century automobile on Bellfield Avenue at the intersection with Windrim Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Plaintiff stopped for a red traffic signal and after he was stopped for about five seconds he was struck in the rear by a vehicle operated by defendant Sultan N. Porter. The vehicle operated by defendant Sultan N. Porter was owned by his aunt, defendant Darlene Davis.

 3. At the time of the impact, defendant was only traveling 3 to 5 M.P.H. Nevertheless, the plaintiff's vehicle was pushed forward and plaintiff's knee struck the dashboard. Plaintiff felt pain in his knee and could hardly walk. Defendant's vehicle sustained a broken headlight.

 4. The next day plaintiff had difficulty in moving his neck, and went to an emergency room where he was given pills for his pain and heat treatments on his leg. Since the accident, he has seen a Dr. Singer approximately one hundred times. He was given "needles" in the neck and back to stop the pain and therapy with heat. The relief these provided was only temporary.

 5. Plaintiff was hospitalized and put in traction at Parkview Metropolitan Hospital for five days in early June, 1987.

 6. Since the accident, plaintiff cannot take part in sports, continues to have pain, and continues to take pain treatments. He was unable to secure employment as a prison guard but continues to work at Prudential.

 7. $ 2,533.25 in plaintiff's medical expenses was not covered by insurance.

 DISCUSSION

 We find that the plaintiff has met his burden of proof in showing that the accident on April 29, 1987 was caused only by defendant Sultan N. Porter and that this negligence did injure him. We find that he is entitled to an award for his unpaid medical expenses, pain, suffering, and loss of life's pleasures. The question remains as to the degree of plaintiff's injury. The accident took place at a low speed and the damage to the vehicles was slight; additionally, plaintiff is still able to work. On the other hand, plaintiff obviously is experiencing some degree of pain and the medical reports of his witnesses confirm this. We do not believe that anyone would willingly undergo one hundred treatments, which included injections, merely to recover damages in an otherwise unfounded case. Although we found plaintiff in basically good health, defendant's doctor states that "The exact effect of the trauma of April 30, 1987 [sic] on his ...


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