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CATHERINE LOVE v. CITY PHILADELPHIA (06/01/88)

decided: June 1, 1988.

CATHERINE LOVE, APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Commonwealth Court entered June 12, 1986 at No. 1663 C.D. 1982 reversing the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Trial Division entered on June 25, 1982 at No. 1286, May Term, 1980.

COUNSEL

John Rogers Carroll, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Barbara Axelrod, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Nix, C.j., and Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Zappala and Papadakos, JJ. Larsen and Papadakos, JJ., file dissenting opinions.

Author: Mcdermott

[ 518 Pa. Page 371]

OPINION

Catherine Love appeals from an order of the Commonwealth Court reversing an order of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas which entered judgment for appellant against the City of Philadelphia, 98 Pa. Commw. 138, 509

[ 518 Pa. Page 372]

A.2d 1388. The facts as found by the trial court are as follows.*fn1

In approximately August of 1979, Catherine Love, then age 73, began attending the Mann Adult Center which was administered by the City of Philadelphia, Department of Public Health. Mrs. Love was transported to and from the Mann Center in a city owned van driven by Mr. Robert Kitchen. Mrs. Love was blind in one eye and had impaired vision in the other, and therefore required assistance boarding and alighting from the van. Mr. Kitchen usually parked the van at the curb in front of Mrs. Love's home. He would place a portable step at the doors to the van and would assist Mrs. Love in and out of the van.

On the afternoon of February 15, 1980, Mr. Kitchen transported Mrs. Love, the last occupant of the van that day, from the Mann Center to her home. Mrs. Love fell while alighting from the van, landing in the street with her feet approximately three feet from the curb line and her back approximately two feet from the portable step which had been placed next to the van.

Mr. Kitchen became aware that Mrs. Love had fallen and summoned the help of Mrs. Love's daughter-in-law and granddaughter. The Philadelphia Police were called and Mrs. Love was transported to Episcopal Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Mrs. Love suffered multiple injuries and was subsequently placed in a nursing home.

Catherine Love filed an action against the City of Philadelphia alleging that the city's negligence caused her injuries. The case was heard non-jury. At the conclusion of the trial the judge entered a verdict for Catherine Love against the city in the amount of $375,000.00. The court held that Mrs. Love's injuries ...


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