Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Grant of New Trial Affirmed in Pike County Trip and Fall Case

A recent non-precedential decision by the Pennsylvania Superior Court in the trip and fall case of Stefanelli v. Birchwood Lakes Community Association, 1444 EDA 2009 (Pa.Super. Aug. 10, 2010) is significant for the fact that prior automobile accident decisions were utilized by the court to support the granting of a new trial for a plaintiff in a case where a defense verdict was entered after the jury found negligence but no factual cause even though all of the medical experts agreed that the Plaintiff sustained an injury as a result of the incident.

The case went up on appeal from the granting of a new trial by Pike County Court of Common Pleas Judge Gregory Chelak found that the jury's verdict "was so contrary to the evidence as to shock one's sense of justice."

More specifically, the Judge noted that the agreement of the medical experts for each side that the Plaintiff sustained some form of injury as a result of the incident combined with the jury's finding of negligence resulted in the trial court ruling that the jury's additional finding of no factual cause as being against the weight of the evidence.

As such, Judge Chelak granted the Plaintiff a new trial. On appeal, the Superior Court affirmed in this non-precedential Opinion.

Anyone desiring a copy of the Superior Court's Opinion in Stefanelli v. Birchwood Lakes may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

I thank the prevailing Plaintiff's attorney, James Conaboy Esquire of the Scranton law firm of Abrahamsen, Conaboy and Abrahamsen for forwarding this decision to my attention.

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