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STAIS v. SEARS-ROEBUCK AND COMPANY (06/28/54)

June 28, 1954

STAIS
v.
SEARS-ROEBUCK AND COMPANY, APPELLANT



Appeals, Nos. 38 and 39, May T., 1954, from order of Superior Court, March T., 1954, Nos. 5 and 6, affirming judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, June T., 1949, No. 755, in case of John Stais et ux. v. Sears-Roebuck & Co. Order affirmed. Same case in Superior Court: 174 Pa. Super. Ct. 498. Trespass for personal injuries. Before SMITH, P.J. Verdicts, in favor of plaintiff wife in the sum of $2,500, and for plaintiff husband in the sum of $2,450, and against defendant, and judgments entered thereon. Defendant appealed to the Superior Court, which affirmed the judgments of the court below. Appeal by defendant to Supreme Court allowed.

COUNSEL

Robert B. Wolf, with him F. Brewster Wickersham, Lewis S. Kunkel, Metzger & Wickersham and Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, for appellant.

Macey E. Klein, with him Irwin Benjamin and Hurwitz, Klein, Myers & Benjamin, for appellees.

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

[ 378 Pa. Page 290]

OPINION PER CURIAM

These appeals, here by special allowance, are from an order of the Superior Court affirming respective judgments for the husband and wife plaintiffs for damages occasioned each as a result of personal injuries suffered by the wife in a fall down a flight of stairs negligently maintained by the defendant company in one of its stores. Nothing more is involved than the private interests of the immediate parties to the litigation; and the relevant rule of law, which the Superior Court correctly applied in its unanimous opinion (see 174 Pa. Superior Ct. 498), is extremely simple and not open to question. The case is not, therefore, one of general importance or necessary to secure uniformity of decision: see Taylor v. Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company, 245 Pa. 189, 196, 91 A. 631; also Kraemer v. Guarantee Trust & Safe Deposit Co., 173 Pa. 416, 418, 33 A. 1047. Accordingly, the decision of the Superior Court appropriately ended the matter.

Order affirmed.

Disposition

Order affirmed.

[ 378 Pa. Page 291]

DISSENTING OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BELL

No facts are stated in the majority opinion to prove negligence, notice or liability of any kind; there is merely an assertion that the wife-plaintiff fell down a flight of stairs "negligently maintained" by defendant. Whenever a majority opinion fails to state the facts it is, I believe, because a recital would show the weakness or untenability of their position. The plaintiff in the instant case failed to prove any negligence whatever; she failed to prove any notice, actual or constructive, of any defective metal stripping prior to the accident, even if it could be assumed that her heel did not pull the stripping loose.

Considering the testimony in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, these are the facts. Plaintiff on September 7, 1947 fell down a flight of stairs leading from the first floor to the basement in a store of Sears-Roebuck & Company in Harrisburg, and suffered personal injuries. The steps were well lighted, were without shadow, were covered with a composite floor covering, and the nosing of each step and the edge of the landing were covered by a metal stripping 1 1/2 inches wide, which was fastened down with screws. Plaintiff testified that when she looked down at the metal strip nosing it appeared safe, flat and flush-down. When she stepped on it she caught her heel and fell down the steps. Her heel was pulled from her shoe. While lying at the foot of the steps she observed that the metal strip was sticking up 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches and she could see empty screw holes. That was the only evidence of negligence or notice proved by ...


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