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MARTIN v. STATLER (04/23/52)

April 23, 1952

MARTIN
v.
STATLER, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 13, March T., 1952, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, March T., 1950, No. 22, in case of A. E. Martin and Aline Sandford, Admrs., Estate of Jessie F. Martin, deceased, v. Robert A. Statler. Judgment affirmed; reargument refused May 12, 1952.

COUNSEL

J. Campbell Brandon, with him W. D. Brandon, Hugh S. Millar and Brandon, Millar & Duffy, for appellant.

Lee C. McCandless, for appellees.

Before Drew, C.j., Stearne, Jones, Bell, Chidsey and Musmanno, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 370 Pa. Page 294]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

On September 19, 1949, at about 8 o'clock in the evening, A.E. Martin and his wife, Jessie Martin, were motoring northwardly on State Highway Route No. 8 in Butler County. Coming into the village of Cooperstown they stopped on their side of the road, to purchase fruit at a market located on the other side of the road which at this point is made up of three concrete slabs, each 10 feet wide.

Mrs. Martin, 68 years of age, alighted first from the car, walked around to the rear and then started across the highway to the fruit stand. She had advanced about 18 feet when a car speeding in from her right, turned off its forward lane, crossed over to the middle lane where she had now stopped, and hit her head-on with such force and violence as to send her body hurtling 30 feet through the air, killing her instantly.

In the ensuing lawsuit brought by the administrators of the estate of the deceased, the husband and daughter of Mrs. Martin, against the owner and driver of the colliding car, Robert A. Statler, under the wrongful death statute and the survival statute, the jury returned verdicts in their behalf, one for $5300 under the death statute and one for $10 under the survival act, or a total of $5310.

The defendant filed motions for a new trial and for judgment non obstante veredicto, which motions were overruled by the lower Court and the case is now before us on appeal from the decision of the Court below.

The defendant contends that the trial proved him innocent of negligence and proved the decedent contributorily negligent.

The evidence demonstrated defendant's negligence to have been almost wilful and ...


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