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JOHN HOHENADEL BREWERY v. J. ROSS FURNITURE CO. (01/14/55)

January 14, 1955

JOHN HOHENADEL BREWERY, INC., AND JAMES T. QUINN,
v.
J. ROSS FURNITURE CO., AND MILESTONE SYSTEM, AND LAWRENCE M. PISSELLI; J. ROSS FURNITURE CO., APPELLANT



Appeals, Nos. 281 and 289, Oct. T., 1954, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1950, No. 5433, in case of John Hohenadel Brewery, Inc., and James T. Quinn v. J. Ross Furniture Co., and Milestone System, and Lawrence M. Pisselli. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Ralph S. Croskey, with him Croskey & Edwards, Philadelphia, for appellant.

S.H. Copelin, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ.

Author: Ross

[ 177 Pa. Super. Page 285]

OPINION BY ROSS, J.,

This is an action in trespass arising from a collision between two motor trucks at the intersection of Brown Street and 27th Street in Philadelphia. The action was brought by John Hohenadel Brewery, Inc. and James T. Quinn against J. Ross Furniture Co., Milestone System and Lawrence M. Pisselli. The case came on for trial in the Court of Common Pleas No. 3 of Philadelphia County before a judge and a jury. By stipulation Lawrence M. Pisselli was eliminated as a party defendant and a non-suit was entered as to the Milestone System. The case of the corporate plaintiff for property damages and of the individual plaintiff for personal injuries was submitted to the jury which returned a verdict for each plaintiff. Defendant's motion for judgment n.o.v. was denied and it has appealed to this Court.

27th Street in Philadelphia runs south to north and is one way in that direction, while Brown Street runs west to east and it is one way in that direction. There were trolley tracks in the center of each street at the time of the accident.

James T. Quinn, the individual plaintiff, was the only witness to testify. He stated that the accident occurred at about 2:15 P.M. of October 7, 1949, when "It was raining". He was proceeding north in the center of 27th Street driving his truck at a speed of 12 to 13 miles an hour. He observed the defendant's truck approaching the intersection from the west on Brown Street when the front of Quinn's truck was 3 or 4 feet beyond the south building line on Brown Street. Defendant's truck was then 125 feet west of the intersection and approaching it at a speed of 25 to 30 miles an hour. Quinn stopped his truck with its front end two feet short of the south rail of the Brown Street trolley tracks. He did so because defendant's

[ 177 Pa. Super. Page 286]

    truck - then 30 feet west of the west curb line of 27th Street - "all of a sudden... seemed to surge forward faster" and then "skidded around sideways and continued to skid" for a distance of 25 to 30 feet at which point the right side of it struck the left front of Quinn's truck. After striking the truck, defendant's truck continued through the intersection "travelling sideways" until it struck a trolley pole on the north side of Brown Street.

The defendant takes the position that there is no evidence that the street was "slippery" at the time of the accident. Simply because it was raining, the defendant argues, does not necessarily mean that the cartways were slippery. Plaintiff was required, the argument continues, to go on to show "the amount of rain and the type and condition of the paving". We think the jury could reasonably infer that the cartways were slippery from the fact that it was raining and that defendant's truck skidded for a considerable distance.

In the case at bar we have these three factors to consider: (1) it was raining at the time of the accident and the cartways were wet; (2) the defendant's vehicle was traveling along a city street toward an intersection at a speed of 25 to 30 miles an hour; and (3) the ...


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