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CRAUN v. UNITED STATES

August 6, 1948

CRAUN et al.
v.
UNITED STATES. MAUSS v. UNITED STATES



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WATSON

The plaintiff, Paul D. Mauss, instituted Civil Action No. 2847 to recover damages for injuries received in a collision which, it is alleged, was caused by the negligence of Richard Laub, who was driving a United States tractor truck and was acting within the scope of his employment of the Government of the United States, the defendant.

The plaintiff, Ethel F. Craun, instituted Civil Action No. 2846 to recover damages for the death of Samule F. Craun in said collision which, it is alleged, was caused by the negligence of Richard Laub, who was driving a United States tractor truck and was acting within the scope of his employment as an employee of the Government of the United States, the defendant. The plaintiff, Ethel F. Craun, seeks recovery on her own behalf as widow under the Pennsylvania 'Wrongful Death' Statutes, *fn1" and on behalf of the estate of Samuel F. Craun, Deceased, as executrix of his last Will and Testament, under the Pennsylvania 'Survival' Statute. *fn2"

 Both actions were instituted under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C.A § 921, and following, and both actions consolidated for trial were tried before the Court without a jury.

 From the legal evidence received at the trial, the Court finds the facts to be as follows:

 1. The plaintiff, Ethel F. Craun, and the plaintiff, Paul D. Mauss, are both residents of York, Pennsylvania, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

 2. On March 2, 1946, on a public highway, known as Route 111, at or near the Borough of Hungerford, York County, Pennsylvania, Richard Laub was driving a United States Army tractor truck, proceeding South, and Samuel F. Craun was driving an automobile owned by him, proceeding North.

 3. Immediately prior to a collision, Richard Laub, proceeding down a slight grade on Route 111, at or near the Borough of Hungerford, applied the brakes of the United States Army tractor truck. At the bottom of the grade, at a double track railroad crossing, Richard Laub increased the brake pressure, and the United States Army tractor truck began to jackknife and veer to its left, or wrong side of the highway, where it struck the automobile being driven by Samuel F. Craun on its right or proper side of the highway.

 4. Route 111, at the time and place of the collision, was wet and slippery.

 5. Richard Laub failed to take into consideration the existing wet and slippery condition of the road and so to maintain a reasonable degree of control of the movements of the said United States Army tractor truck. This negligent omission of Richard Laub caused the collision.

 6. At the time of the collision, Richard Laub was performing his duties as an employee of the Government of the United States, in transporting laundry from Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania, to Fort George Meade, Maryland.

 7. At the time of the collision, Richard Laub was an employee of the Government of the United States, and was acting within the scope of his employment.

 8. As a result of the said collision, the plaintiff, Paul D. Mauss, who was a passenger in the automobile of Samuel F. Craun at the time of the said collision, suffered internal derangement of the left knee joint, perforations of the lower lip and tongue, and abrasions on the forehead.

 9. The plaintiff, Paul D. Mauss, paid Doctor L. K. Remley, York, Pennsylvania, the sum of Twenty-four Dollars ($ 24.00) for professional services rendered for treatment of injuries sustained by him in the said collision.

 10. Prior to the said collision, the plaintiff, Paul D. Mauss, was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as a signal lineman, and his duties included climbing poles and reconstructing lines on the poles. His average weekly earnings while so employed prior to the ...


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