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LEWIS v. QUINN (01/04/54)

January 4, 1954

LEWIS, APPELLANT,
v.
QUINN



Appeal, No. 273, Jan. T., 1953, from order of Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1951, No. 3843, in case of Harold H. Lewis v. Robert P. Quinn. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Alan Kahn, with him Charles A. Lord and Richter, Lord & Farage, for appellant.

Thomas E. Comber, Jr., with him Francis E. Shields and Pepper, Bodine, Stokes & Hamilton, for appellee.

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

Author: Bell

[ 376 Pa. Page 110]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

Plaintiff's motion to take off a non-suit was dismissed and from the order and judgment entered thereon plaintiff has appealed. On this appeal it is by now horn book law that plaintiff must be given the benefit of every fact and every reasonable inference of fact arising from the evidence, and all conflicts therein must be resolved in his favor: McDonald v. Ferrebee, 366 Pa. 543, 79 A.2d 232.

This case involved what is often called a right angle collision between two automobiles. The mere happening of a collision or accident does not raise an inference or presumption of negligence by either party. Plaintiff must prove by a fair preponderance of the evidence that defendant was negligent and that his negligence was the proximate cause of the injury; and while he does not have the burden of disproving

[ 376 Pa. Page 111]

    contributory negligence, he cannot recover if his own case shows him to have been guilty of contributory negligence: Lanni v. P.R.R., 371 Pa. 106, 88 A.2d 887; Thomspon v. Gorman, 366 Pa. 242, 246, 77 A.2d 413; Ray v. Manculich, 363 Pa. 445, 447, 70 A.2d 302; Byrne v. Schultz, 306 Pa. 427, 160 A. 125; Albrecht v. Erie City, 265 Pa. 453, 109 A. 153; Dattola v. Burt Bros., Inc., 288 Pa. 134, 136, 135 A. 736.

Plaintiff was driving on a clear night along Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pa., toward New York. He stopped at Mascher Street for a red light. At that time he was in the side or right-hand lane of Roosevelt Boulevard on the east side thereof. When the light changed to green plaintiff made a left turn into Mascher Street and stopped again for the light, which was then red for Mascher Street traffic. Roosevelt Boulevard consists at this point of three lanes, about 200 feet wide, a wide center lane for north and south bound traffic, a right-hand lane for north bound traffic, and a left-hand lane for south bound traffic. Except at street crossings these three lanes are divided by a green strip.

When the red light on Mascher Street (which is a two-way street) turned green plaintiff started slowly across the boulevard. "I got over about halfway -- I got across the center lane; I got about halfway in between the grass plot, the curbline of the lane on the west side, when I glanced up and looked at the light; I seen I still had the green light, and after that I don't remember anything.... Q. In other words you know nothing concerning what came in contact ...


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