The opinion of the court was delivered by: GRIM
Plaintiff has sued the United States
under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C., § 1346, 2671 et seq., alleging personal injuries caused by the negligence of a Government employee acting with the scope of his employment and engaged in the business of defendant. On the basis of the pleadings and the testimony in the case, I make the following
1. The plaintiff is Edna Feathersmith, a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who, while a passenger in an automobile owned and operated by Horace Lee Thomas, suffered injuries as a result of a collision between defendant's mail truck and the Thomas car at the intersection of 15th and Market Streets in Philadelphia at about 9:45 P.M. on October 28, 1950.
2. The defendant is the United States of America, whose employee, Thomas E. Cooper, at the time of the accident, was driving a three-ton mail truck on defendant's business and within the scope of his employment.
3. Just before the collision, the Thomas automobile, which was heading west, had stopped for a red traffic light in the north lane on Market Street east of 15th Street. Immediately in front of the Thomas automobile and between it and 15th Street a taxi cab had also stopped for the red light. Immediately to the rear of the Thomas automobile defendant's mail truck had stopped for the same red light. On the westbound trolley tracks to the left of the Thomas car one automobile and immediately behind it a trolley car had also stopped for the red light.
4. When the traffic light changed to green, the taxi cab in front of the Thomas car started to move straight ahead, crossed 15th Street, and came to a stop behind some double-parked cabs in the north lane west of 15th Street. Thomas, following the taxi cab at a speed of about seven miles per hour, started across 15th Street, continued across 15th Street, and came to a gradual stop about eight feet behind the cab. At that point the front of the Thomas car was three feet west of the west curb line of 15th Street and the rear end of the car was in the westerly half of 15th Street.
5. Immediately after the Thomas car had stopped, the mail truck drove into it and struck it in the rear with an impact that knocked the Thomas car about six feet toward the curb.
6. As a result of the impact, plaintiff, who was seated beside the driver of the Thomas car, received a whip lash injury to her neck and was thrown forward so that her head hit and shattered the right side of the windshield.
7. Defendant's employee was negligent in the operation of the United States mail truck immediately preceding the accident, in that he drove the truck at an excessive speed under the circumstances and drove his truck too close to the rear of the Thomas car, considering his rate of speed, and in that he failed to have his truck under proper control.
8. The collision and the injuries sustained by plaintiff as a result thereof were proximately caused by the negligent operation of the mail truck by defendant's employee engaged in the business of defendant and within the scope of his employment.
9. The accident was not caused or contributed to by any negligence on the part of the plaintiff.
10. Immediately after the collision, plaintiff was dizzy and nauseous and she couldn't stand up. Her forehead was cut and her nose bruised and bleeding. She was taken to Hahnemann Hospital where she began to get a sharp and stabbing pain in the neck and extending to the right shoulder and arm. She was placed on a stretcher, x-rays were taken of the neck, she was placed in a Thomas collar to immobilize her neck, and she was sent home to await a bed, since no beds were then available at the hospital. That same night, when she arrived home, she had severe throbbing headaches and throbbing pain in the back, back of the neck, right shoulder, and right arm. The pain in ...