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DAVIS v. PIATT (11/13/50)

November 13, 1950

DAVIS
v.
PIATT, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 176, March T., 1950, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Feb, T., 1949, No. 134, in case of W. O. Davis v. Edwin W. Piatt. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Joseph C. Spriggs, for appellant.

Wray G. Zelt, Jr., for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Jones, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 365 Pa. Page 538]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

Plaintiff, W. O. Davis, instituted this action in trespass to recover for personal injuries and property damage sustained when the automobile of defendant, Edwin W. Piatt, travelling at a high rate of speed, proceeded diagonally across a four-lane highway and crashed into plaintiff's automobile at a point on plaintiff's right-hand side of the highway. A jury returned a verdict for plaintiff in amount of $6,554.86. This appeal is from the decree of the court below dismissing defendant's motions for judgment non obstante veredicto and for a new trial, and the entry of judgment.

Viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to plaintiff, and granting him the benefit of all reasonable

[ 365 Pa. Page 539]

    inferences and deductions to be made therefrom, the following facts are established. Plaintiff, W. O. Davis, on June 8, 1948, was seated in his automobile to the right of Clarence A. Taylor, a friend who was driving the car. Plaintiff's vehicle was proceeding on his extreme right-hand lane in an easterly direction on Route 40, a four-lane highway, about 9:30 p.m. at a speed of 30 to 35 miles per hour. As they were ascending a hill known as Pancake Hill, at a point where the highway curves toward the left, defendant's automobile, proceeding in a westerly direction, suddenly appeared over the crest of the hill, approximately 30 to 40 feet in front of plaintiff's car. Defendant's car proceeded diagonally across the highway and collided with plaintiff's car. The front right side of defendant's car and the front of plaintiff's car were damaged extensively and plaintiff sustained serious personal injuries.

The defendant claimed that the accident happened in an entirely different manner and the testimony adduced on his behalf tended to show that at the time of the collision he and his wife were seated in his car parked on the wrong side of Route 40 facing traffic and plaintiff's oncoming car, with lights on low beam, preparatory to inspecting a house which was for rent in the vicinity, and that his car was so parked for approximately five minutes when plaintiff's car suddenly drove directly into it. But the jury rejected this version of the accident.

Defendant submitted the following point for charge: "If the jury find from the evidence that defendant's automobile was stopped at the curb facing traffic, and on the wrong side of the road, while this would have been a violation of the Automobile Code, yet there can be no recovery by the plaintiff in the present action which would be based upon such wrongful stopping for the ...


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