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EME v. WALDRON (01/11/54)

January 11, 1954

EME, APPELLANT,
v.
WALDRON



Appeal, No. 302, Jan. T., 1953, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1952, No. 2747, in case of Joseph D. Eme, Jr. v. Charles A. Waldron. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Frank Carano, for appellant.

Ralph S. Croskey, with him Croskey & Edwards, for appellee.

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

Author: Musmanno

[ 376 Pa. Page 74]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

The plaintiff, Joseph D. Eme, Jr., was driving north on one-way northbound 20th Street in Philadelphia

[ 376 Pa. Page 75]

    at 8 a.m., of November 24, 1951. The defendant, Charles A. Waldron was driving south on that same street at the same time. Not being incorporeal, they could not drive through each other, and the inevitable collision resulted.

Admittedly travelling southwardly on a northbound street, the defendant could not and did not attempt to dodge the imputation of negligence inescapably arising from the position of the cars. He did, however, seek exoneration from liability for the plaintiff's injuries by asserting that the plaintiff himself was guilty of contributory negligence. In support of this charge the defendant explained that originally he had been moving northwardly on 20th Street when he realized that he had passed the point at which he intended to stop to enter a parking lot. He then proceeded to make a "U" turn in order to come back to the parking lot, and, after having reversed the direction of his car, he collided with the plaintiff's car. This maneuver was executed in broad daylight and in full view of the plaintiff who continued to move forward at his own peril, the defendant contended.

Since the law of contributory negligence in Pennsylvania does not acknowledge any extenuating circumstances, a negligent plaintiff cannot recover even though a neutral bystander might well conclude that as between the two contesting motorists the defendant's fault was the greater. The only question, therefore, in this case was whether the plaintiff was lacking in care under the circumstances, regardless of the obviously flagrant negligence of the defendant. The question was submitted to the jury and the jury found for the defendant.

There were only two witnesses: the plaintiff and the defendant, so that the issue became strictly one of credibility. The ...


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