Friday, March 27, 2015

Pennsylvania Superior Court Denies Defendant's Request for New Trial in a Limited Tort Case

In its recent decision in the case of Brown v. Trinidad, 2015 Pa. Super. 46 (Pa. Super. March 9, 2015 Lazarus, Wecht, and Strassburger, J.J.)(Op. by Lazarus, J.)(Concurring Op. by Strassburger, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court reviewed the current status of Limited Tort law in Pennsylvania and affirmed a trial court's denial of a defendant's request for a new trial after a Philadelphia County jury awarded a verdict to a Limited Tort plaintiff.

On appeal, the Superior Court noted that the medical evidence presented by the Plaintiff contained references to expert testimony from the Plaintiff's side that the Plaintiff sustained a lumbar spine disc herniation as a result of the subject accident that not only impaired the Plaintiff in his every day activities but also made the Plaintiff more susceptible to the work injury he sustained three months after the accident.  The Plaintiff's evidence also included references to neck and mid-back injuries, pain, and residual limitations.

The court also noted that while the Plaintiff, who was in his mid-twenties, admitted that he did not feel pain on the date of the accident, he quickly developed low back pain in the days that followed the accident.  When the pain allegedly became severe, the Plaintiff sought out treatment.  The Plaintiff advised that he stopped treating approximately four months after the accident after being allegedly advised by his medical providers that his injuries could not be fixed.

The record before the court also confirmed that with regards to substantial impairments, the Plaintiff had testified at trial that he had difficulty playing with his young daughter and that he could no longer run or jump, as compared to prior to the accident when the Plaintiff enjoyed bowling, playing basketball, and ice skating.

As noted, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court's denial of the Defendant's request for a new trial.

The Majority Opinion in Brown v. Trinidad can be viewed HERE.

For other recent Limited Tort decisions of note from around the Commonwealth, click this LINK.

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