Albert H. Friedman, Peter P. Zion, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Edward I. Weisberg, David N. Feldman, Philadelphia, for Sidney B. Simkins.
James Francis Ryan, Harry Lapensohn, Asst. City Solicitors and Frank F. Truscott, City Solicitor, all of Philadelphia, for City of Philadelphia.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross, Arnold and Gunther, JJ.
[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 197]
This action in trespass arises out of a collision between a taxicab of the defendant, Harrison Barcus, trading as United Cab Company, and a police ambulance owned and operated by the other defendant, the City of Philadelphia, which occurred shortly after 5 a. m. on January 4, 1948, near the center of the intersection of Broad and Arch Streets, Philadelphia. Plaintiff was a passenger in the taxicab and was asleep at the time. He was thrown out of the taxicab onto the street as a result of the collision, and thereby sustained personal injuries. His action against both defendants for the recovery of damages resulted in a verdict in his favor in the amount of $879 against the defendant Barcus only. The motion for a new trial filed by Barcus was dismissed, and judgments were entered on the verdict in favor of plaintiff against Barcus and against plaintiff in favor of the City of Philadelphia. The defendant Barcus has appealed from the respective judgments.
When the accident occurred plaintiff was sitting on the left-hand side of the rear seat of the taxicab which was proceeding east on Arch Street. As the taxicab approached Broad Street, the traffic light at the intersection was green in favor of Arch Street traffic, and it entered the intersection at 20 to 25 miles per hour without reducing its speed. Two cars which had been proceeding south, and which were abreast of each other, had stopped on the west side of Broad Street near the north side of Arch Street, waiting for the traffic light to change. The police ambulance was traveling south on Broad Street, occupied only by its driver, a police officer, in response to a summons to a three-alarm
[ 168 Pa. Super. Page 198]
fire at 20th and Market Streets. The nature and the function of this ambulance were described by its driver:
'Q. What kind of car was this you operated? A. It is known as a hospital unit that goes to all two-alarm fires, or any place where there is a large gathering of people that might need medical attention. * * *
'Q. Now, how is it equipped? A. It is equipped with a complete hospital operating room on the inside, and when it arrives at its destination it is manned by two or three doctors from the chief surgeon's office who can ...