LENORA PARTLOW, ADMINISTRATIX OF THE ESTATE OF CALVIN WILSON, JR., Appellee
KAHLILE GRAY, Appellant
from the Judgment Entered July 12, 2016 In the Court of
Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Civil Division at No.:
June Term, 2013, No. 0678
BEFORE: DUBOW, J., SOLANO, J., and FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.E.
Gray ("Appellant") appeals from the July 12, 2016
Judgment entered by the Philadelphia County Court of Common
Pleas following a jury trial. We affirm.
relevant facts, as gleaned from the trial court's
September 15, 2016 Opinion and the certified record, are as
follows. On April 4, 2013, Decedent, Calvin Wilson, Jr., and
his friend had been riding their motorcycles throughout
Philadelphia. Decedent had recorded their ride with a Go Pro
video camera, which Decedent mounted on his motorcycle, and
the recording showed, inter alia, that in the
half-mile before the accident, Decedent had performed three
wheelies. Appellant was driving in the opposite direction in
a Dodge Durango, and both lanes of travel had green lights.
Decedent was not speeding.
attempted to make a left-hand turn through Decedent's
lane of travel. Appellant hit Decedent's motorcycle and
killed Decedent. A police officer observed Appellant's
bloodshot and watery eyes after the accident, as well as
Appellant's lethargic behavior. Appellant denied
consuming alcohol at any point that day. Two hours after the
accident, Appellant's blood alcohol content
("BAC") was 0.073. Appellee's expert opined
that Appellant's BAC two hours after the accident
indicated his BAC was .104% at the time of the accident.
Partlow, the Administratrix of the Estate of Calvin Wilson,
Jr. ("Appellee"), filed a Writ of Summons on June
15, 2013, and a Complaint on January 7, 2014, asserting a
survival action and a wrongful death action.
trial court heard several Motions in Limine prior to
trial regarding, inter alia, the admissibility of
the Go Pro video recording, the evidence of Appellant's
alcohol consumption and intoxication, and expert testimony
based on the evidence of Appellant's alcohol consumption
and intoxication. The trial court admitted evidence of
Appellant's alcohol consumption and intoxication, as well
as limited portions of the Go Pro video recording.
a jury trial from February 5, 2016 to February 11, 2016, at
which Appellant conceded liability but claimed that Decedent
had been comparatively negligent, the jury returned a verdict
in favor of Appellee for $3.1 million. The jury awarded
$1, 850, 000 for net loss earning capacity for the survival
action and $1, 250, 000 for the wrongful death action.
filed Post-Trial Motions, which the trial court denied on
July 12, 2016. The same day, the trial court entered Judgment
in favor of Appellee for $3.1 million.
filed a timely Notice of Appeal. Both Appellant and the trial
court complied with Pa.R.A.P. 1925.
Appellant presents the following four issues for our review:
[1.] Whether the [t]rial [court] abused its discretion in
allowing the admission of alleged intoxication when it was
clearly not relevant and, to the extent it was relevant on
the negligence issues, its probative value was far outweighed
by the prejudice to [Appellant], especially when the [c]ourt
initially denied [Appellant's] Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment on the punitive damages claim but later granted
[Appellant's] Motion for Compulsory Nonsuit on the issue
of punitive damages?
[2.] Whether the [t]rial [c]ourt abused its discretion in
allowing evidence of alleged intoxication and/or alcohol use
by [Appellant], including but not limited to testimony from
[Appellee's] toxicology expert witness, when there ...