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MCGAVERN v. PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY (05/24/54)

May 24, 1954

MCGAVERN
v.
PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeal, No. 108, March T., 1954, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1950, No. 2655, in case of Jack K. McGavern v. Pittsburgh Railways Company. Judgment affirmed. Trespass for personal injuries and property damage. Before SOFFEL, J. Verdict for plaintiff in the sum of $10,000. and judgment thereon. Defendant appealed.

COUNSEL

Con F. McGregor, for appellant.

David M. Harrison, with him Harrison & Louik, for appellee.

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

Author: Arnold

[ 378 Pa. Page 14]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

This was an action to recover damages resulting from a collision between the automobile owned and operated by the plaintiff and a street car of the defendant corporation. The accident occurred at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Wylie Avenue in Pittsburgh, shortly after eight o'clock in the morning. The streets were damp but the weather was clear and visibility good. Sixth Avenue runs north and south and is an important artery leading to the Liberty Tubes and Bridge. Wylie Avenue runs east and west and on the west side of the intersection becomes Court Place, which is at right angles. There are two sets of street car tracks on both streets. Only the west-bound track on Wylie Avenue continues through the intersection into Court Place. Street cars travelling south from Sixth Avenue turn easterly into Wylie Avenue at this intersection, which is protected by traffic lights.

Plaintiff was moving southerly upon Sixth Avenue. A street car of the defendant, also proceeding southerly and on the plaintiff's left hand, had stopped to service passengers just back of the Wylie Avenue intersection, and plaintiff had stopped his automobile behind the

[ 378 Pa. Page 15]

    center doors of the street car. The street car then moved forward and stopped, and plaintiff moved his vehicle forward to a point behind the front doors of the street car. Both vehicles then waited at the intersection for a green light "go" signal. When the light turned green for Sixth Avenue traffic the street car started forward to make a left-hand turn into Wylie Avenue, and stopped suddenly about eighteen inches from the northerly or nearest rail on Wylie Avenue. After some pedestrians had cleared the cross-walk, plaintiff started forward and his view to the left was entirely cut off by the street car. As the front wheels of his automobile nosed out in front of the street car and crossed the northerly or nearest rail of the west-bound track on Wylie Avenue, a street car proceeded along Wylie Avenue westwardly and to plaintiff's left at a speed of from 25 to 30 miles per hour. It had entered the intersection at least five seconds after the signal was red for Wylie Avenue traffic and struck plaintiff's car and pushed it a distance of about 25 feet into Court Place. Plaintiff first saw the west-bound street car when it was about three or four feet from him, and he testified that as he proceeded into the intersection he could not see to his left because the street car entering Wylie Avenue from Sixth Avenue obstructed his vision on Wylie Avenue.

After verdict for the plaintiff the defendant made a motion for judgment non obstante veredicto, which the court refused and entered judgment for the plaintiff. The judgment will be affirmed.

The defendant-appellant concedes that it was guilty of negligence in the running of the street car on Wylie Avenue through the Sixth Avenue intersection. Its contention is that the evidence showed the plaintiff guilty of contributory negligence as a matter ...


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