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[U] Palmieri v. Frances M. Sullivan Living Trust

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

July 31, 2013

SHARON F. PALMIERI AND HERMAN DAVID PALMIERI, HER HUSBAND, Appellants
v.
FRANCES M. SULLIVAN LIVING TRUST, PATRICIA A. SULLIVAN, SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE OF THE FRANCES M. SULLIVAN TRUST, Appellee SHARON F. PALMIERI AND HERMAN DAVID PALMIERI, HER HUSBAND, Appellants
v.
FRANCES M. SULLIVAN LIVING TRUST, PATRICIA A. SULLIVAN, SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE OF THE FRANCES M. SULLIVAN TRUST, Appellee

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order Entered April 4, 2012 In the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County Civil Division at No(s): G.D. 08-026091

BEFORE: BENDER, GANTMAN AND OLSON, JJ.

JUDGMENT ORDER

OLSON, J.

Appellants, Sharon F. Palmieri and Herman David Palmieri, purport to appeal from the orders entered on April 4, 2013 and April 16, 2012, denying their post-trial motions. We remand with instructions.

On December 7, 2006, Sharon F. Palmieri ("Mrs. Palmieri") was visiting her elderly mother, Frances M. Sullivan (hereinafter "Ms. Sullivan"), and, while she was in her mother's house, Mrs. Palmieri slipped and fell on the basement floor. After her mother passed away, Mrs. Palmieri brought suit against the named Appellee – who, at all relevant times, owned the house in which the accident occurred – for negligence.[1] The case proceeded to trial and the jury found that Appellee was not negligent.

Appellants then filed a timely post-trial motion and claimed that, as a result of errors that occurred both prior to and during trial, they were entitled to a new trial. The two trial court judges whose rulings were questioned denied Appellants' post-trial motion by orders entered on April 4, 2012 and April 16, 2012. Neither trial court order directed that judgment be entered on the verdict.

Following the denial of their post-trial motion, Appellants simply filed a notice of appeal to this court – purporting to appeal from the orders denying their post-trial motion. Yet, neither party has filed a praecipe to enter judgment on the verdict and judgment has not been entered in this case. As such, we do not have jurisdiction over this appeal. See, e.g., Johnston the Florist, Inc. v. TEDCO Constr. Corp., 657 A.2d 511, 514 (Pa. Super. 1995) (en banc) ("Generally, an appeal will only be permitted from a final order unless otherwise permitted by statute or rule of court. An appeal from an order denying post-trial motions is interlocutory. Thus, it follows that an appeal to this Court can only lie from judgments entered subsequent to the trial court's disposition of any post-verdict motions, not from the order denying post-trial motions") (internal quotations and citations omitted).

In accordance with Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 902, we remand this matter to the lower court, so as to provide Appellants one final opportunity to reduce the verdict to judgment. Appellants have 20 days from the filing of this order to take the necessary procedural steps to reduce the verdict to judgment, or suffer quashal of this appeal.

Case remanded with instructions. Panel jurisdiction retained.


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