Appeals, Nos. 22 and 23, March T., 1951, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1948, No. 89, in cases of Louise Radobersky v. Imperial Volunteer Fire Department and Louise Radobersky, EXRX., estate of Stephen Radobersky, Deceased, v. Same. Judgments affirmed.
Bruce R. Martin, with him Dalzell, McFall, Pringle & Bredin, for appellant.
John E. Evans, Jr., with him Joseph I Lewis and Evans, Lvory & Evans, for appellees.
Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Jones, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE JONES
Stephen Radobersky and his wife sued the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department, a corporation of the first class, resident in the village of Imperial, Allegheny County, for injuries suffered by them in a collision between a fire truck owned by the defendant and driven by one of its volunteer firemen and an automobile coupe owned and driven by the husband-plaintiff in which his wife was a passenger. Radobersky died shortly before the trial which was not had for some two and a half years after he had instituted the action. His death was suggested of record and his executrix substituted for him. The jury returned a verdict for the deceased husband's damages in a substantial sum and for the wife in a considerably lesser amount. The defendant filed motions for a new trial and for judgment n.o.v., both of which the court en banc refused.
These appeals are from the separate judgments entered on the verdict.
The collision happened about 6 p.m. in June in clear weather at the right-angled intersection of Rebecca Street and Swissvale Avenue in Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County, approximately thirty miles distant from Imperial. The fire company was on its return trip home from North Braddock where it had been that day with the truck participating in a firemen's parade. Traffic at the indicated intersection was regulated by lights. As the Radobersky car, which was travelling on Rebecca Street, reached Swissvale Avenue, the light turned green for Rebecca Street traffic and Radober-sky started forward to cross Swissvale Avenue immediately preceded by another car. When he had crossed about three-fourths of the intersection, the fire truck of the defendant, travelling on Swissvale Avenue toward Rebecca Street at a rate of speed variously estimated up to fifty miles an hour, went through the red light and the collision ensued. The left front of the fire truck struck the right center of the coupe with great force, sending it the rest of the way across the intersection and up over the curb at the far corner, with the resultant injuries to the plaintiffs in suit. Radobersky had seen the truck approaching at some distance on Swissvale Avenue when he entered upon the crossing, but he thought it would be brought to a stop in obedience to the red light against it.
In support of the motion for judgment n.o.v. the defendant contends (1) that it is a municipal agency performing governmental functions and therefore immune from liability for the torts of its agents or servants, (2) that it is a public charity equally immune from tort liability and (3) that Radobersky was guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law.
Considering first the last of the above-stated contentions, a green light does ...