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WILLIAMS v. VAN CAMP. (11/08/54)

November 8, 1954

WILLIAMS, APPELLANT,
v.
VAN CAMP.



Appeals, Nos. 248 and 249, March T., 1953, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1951, No. 1818 and Jan. T., 1953, No. 2935, in case of Alice Johnston Williams v. Willard Van Camp and Bette Heckman, now known as Elizabeth F. Fulghum. Order reversed; reargument refused November 22, 1954. Proceeding upon scire facias sur judgment and motion of defendant to quash writ and to strike from record exemplification as against defendant. Order entered granting motion to quash, opinion by THOMPSON, J. Plaintiff appealed.

COUNSEL

Henry E. Rea, Jr., with him John A. Metz, Jr., and Metz, McClure, Hanna & MacAlister, for appellant.

Meyer W. Gordon, for appellee.

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

Author: Musmanno

[ 379 Pa. Page 149]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

[ 379 Pa. Page 150]

As the result of an automobile accident which occurred in Crawford County, Alice Johnson Williams sued Willard Van Camp and Bette Heckman in trespass in the Court of Common Pleas of that County. Neither defendant entering an appearance, the case was tried ex parte and the jury returned the following verdict: "We, the jurors empaneled in the above-entitled case, find Willard Van Camp guilty of negligence in operating the car owned by Bette Heckman and award the lump sum of $6,000. to the plaintiff Alice Johnston Williams."

After an exemplification of the record had been filed in Allegheny County, the defendant Bette Heckman moved to quash a writ of scire facias issued on petition of the plaintiff. It was held by this Court (Williams v. Van Kemp, 370 Pa. 359), that the exemplification filed in Allegheny County was incomplete, and in due time the record was properly amended and completed.

The plaintiff then filed a statement of claim and a praecipe for a writ of scire facias to revive judgment. The defendant Bette Heckman moved to quash the writ and to strike from the record the exemplification of the record as it applied to her. The lower court held that the verdict as entered did not support a judgment against Bette Heckman and therefore granted the motion to quash the writ of scire facias.

The question before this Court, therefore, is whether the quoted verdict does authorize the entering of a judgment against Bette Heckman. The law suit was against Willard Van Camp and Bette Heckman. Unless there is something in the history of the case to show that one or the other of the defendants was excluded by operation of law, the verdict would necessarily hold against both defendants. The record shows no such exclusion. To argue that Bette Heckman is

[ 379 Pa. Page 151]

    not liable because the verdict does not state she is liable would be to say that Van Camp is also not liable because the verdict does not declare that he is liable. It does say that Van Camp was guilty of negligence, but that of itself would not make Van Camp responsible in money damages because it is within the range of possibility that the jury could have found the plaintiff guilty of ...


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