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EDMONDSON v. MCMULLEN (03/14/55)

March 14, 1955

EDMONDSON
v.
MCMULLEN, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 23, 24, 30 and 31, January T., 1955, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Blair County, March T., 1952, No. 61 and Jan. T., 1954, No. 297, in case of Dale Edmondson et ux. v. Charles McMullen and Harry Lehrer. Judgments affirmed; reargument refused April 13, 1955.

COUNSEL

Robert C. Haberstroh, for McMullen, appellant.

Emanuel S. Leopold, with him Abraham Colbus and Scheeline & Leopold, for Lehrer, appellant.

S. H. Jubelirer, with him Jubelirer & Jubelirer, for appellees.

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

Author: Musmanno

[ 381 Pa. Page 103]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

On January 30, 1951, at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the wife-plaintiff in this case, Mrs. Arlene Edmondson, was standing at the corner of 13th Street and 3th Avenue in Altoona when a truck hurtled over the pavement, climbed the curb, sheared from its embedded and bolted pedestal a cast iron lamp post 5 inches in diameter and pinned her against a stone wall, inflicting grave injuries which resulted in a verdict in the ensuing lawsuit in the total sum of $34,000 in favor of herself and husband. Upon refusal of the Court below to enter in their favor judgment n.o.v., the defendants, Charles McMullen and Harry Lehrer, appealed to this Court.

The fact that the plaintiff was standing on a sidewalk when calamity struck, takes contributory negligence completely out of the case. The defendant Harry Lehrer was the owner of the assailing vehicle which was being driven by his employe Frederick Billets in a westwardly direction on 13th Avenue at the time of the accident. The defendant Charles McMullen was the owner and operator of a Chrysler Sedan which was proceeding northwardly on 13th Street when it collided with the Lehrer truck at the center of the intersection.

The icy condition of the streets and the forward thrust of the McMullen Sedan against the left rear of the speeding truck converted the truck into a huge sled

[ 381 Pa. Page 104]

    which spun counter-clockwise, skidded, and crashed rear-foremost into the formidable lamp post anchored to the concrete and broke it in two, as already stated. The impact of the truck which threw the plaintiff against the wall, left blood stains on the wall which were observable the following day.

Neither the driver of the McMullen car nor the Lehrer truck took the stand to explain how and why the movements of their respective vehicles concatenated to produce the misfortune visited upon Mrs. Edmondson. It cannot be denied that it was their simultaneous arrival at the oddly designated intersection of 13th and 13th which caused the eventual injuries to the plaintiff. The defendants assert, however, that despite the fact that the truck was on the sidewalk where it could not conceivably have any right to be, in addition to the fact that the McMullen automobile was the precipitating cause for the Lehrer truck leaving its ...


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