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HUTCHISON v. PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY (05/24/54)

May 24, 1954

HUTCHISON
v.
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeals, Nos. 8 and 14, March T., 1954, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, March T., 1952, No. 32, in case of Raymond Hutchison v. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company et al. Judgments affirmed. Suits under Federal Employers' Liability Act and in trespass for personal injuries. Before SOHN, J. Verdicts, for plaintiff against Railroad and for plaintiff against defendant Graham in the sum of $40,000., and for defendant Wyckoff Steel Company and judgments entered thereon. Defendants, Railroad and Graham, respectively, appealed.

COUNSEL

Myron E. Rowley, with him Ralph E. Smith, James E. Rowley and Rowley & Smith, for defendant, Graham, appellant.

Samuel W. Pringle, with him John David Rhodes, Clyde Holt, Sr., Holt & Holt, and Dalzell, Pringle, Bredin & Martin, for defendant, Pennsylvania Railroad Company, appellant.

John J. Naughton, with him Francis H. Monek, Edward J. McClain, Henslee, Monek & Murray, Oliver, Brandon & Shearer and Ledebur, McClain & Ledebur, for plaintiff, appellee.

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

Author: Arnold

[ 378 Pa. Page 26]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

This was an action of trespass brought by the plaintiff, a railroad brakeman, against The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Joseph P. Graham, Jr., doing business as J. P. Graham Transfer, and the Wyckoff Steel Company, to recover damages for personal injuries sustained by him in an accident which occurred at 2:55 P.M. December 30, 1949, on a private industrial crossing in Ambridge borough. The action against The Pennsylvania Railroad Company was under The Federal Employers' Liability Act, and that against Graham and Wyckoff was based on a common law action for negligence. A verdict was rendered against Graham and Wyckoff was based on a common law action for negligence. A verdict was rendered against The Pennsylvania Railroad Company and Graham in the sum of $40,000, and judgment entered thereon. Wyckoff Steel Company received a verdict in its favor. Graham moved for judgment non obstante veredicto and for a new trial, and The Pennsylvania Railroad Company moved for a new trial. The court below overruled these motions, entered judgment on the verdict, and Graham and the Railroad Company appealed to this Court.

In the borough of Ambridge the Railroad Company maintains an industrial switching track which is just south of Oak alley, which alley parallels the track.

Duss Avenue is 151 feet 2 inch north of the tracks and is parallel with Oak Alley. Oak Alley and Duss Avenue are connected by a private but paved driveway, 20 feet in width, which crosses the railroad tracks, the crossing consisting of 20 foot length timbers between the rails.

On the day in question a train, consisting of a caboose on the leading end, followed by eight cars and

[ 378 Pa. Page 27]

    a steam locomotive, was on the track and moving westerly.*fn1 When 100 to 150 feet from the crossing the plaintiff signaled the engineer ...


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