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SAMES v. WEHR (03/23/53)

March 23, 1953

SAMES
v.
WEHR, APPELLANT



Appeals, Nos. 36, 37 and 38, Jan. T., 1953, from orders of Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Oct. T., 1950, Nos. 32, 32 1/2 and 33, in cases of Henry Sames et al., v. Donald Wehr, et al., and Beatrice Sames v. Donald Wehr and Henry Sames. Orders affirmed.

COUNSEL

Mark C. McQuillen, with him George M. Manderbach, for appellant.

Paul N. Schaeffer, with him Eli F. Wismer, for appellees.

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

Author: Arnold

[ 373 Pa. Page 282]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

These three cases were consolidated for trial and will be disposed of in one opinion. After verdicts for the defendants in an automobile collision case the court

[ 373 Pa. Page 283]

    below granted new trials in the interest of justice. Wehr appealed in each case.

Henry Sames was driving his automobile westerly on a 16 foot blacktop highway. He was accompanied by his wife, Dorothy, and their two daughters.

Defendant Wehr was driving easterly on the same highway. A collision took place and the defendant, Wehr admits that the point of contact was on the northerly or the Sames side of the road, and that the cars came to rest completely upon the plaintiff's side of the road. All the testimony agrees on these points.

The only evidence which indicates any fault on the part of Sames was that of the defendant, Wehr, who testified that as he came to the crest of the hill, "I had seen Mr. Sames' car approaching up the middle of the road toward me, I should say about sixty-five or seventy feet in front of me." This was denied by Sames. Wehr further testified that when he saw the Sames car he turned to his right and turned too far, went on the gravel shoulder of the road, which caused him to skid and threw him onto the wrong side of the road, causing the collision.

In its opinion granting a new trial the lower court said: "Under the testimony of both parties and the contentions and arguments of counsel to the jury, the weight of the evidence must indicate that one or both of the parties were guilty of negligence...Accordingly, insofar as the passenger plaintiffs... [the Sames daughters] are concerned, the verdicts cannot stand and new ...


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