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VASSER v. CARLINI. (01/17/56)

January 17, 1956

VASSER, APPELLANT,
v.
CARLINI.



Appeals, Nos. 3 and 4, April T., 1955, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, April T., 1950, No. 223, in case of Amy Vasser et vir v. Vincenzo Carlini and the City of Pittsburgh. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Marvin J. Apple, with him Meyer W. Gordon, for appellants.

William F. Cercone, for appellee.

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

Author: Woodside

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 273]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal from the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County entering judgment non obstante veredicto for the defendants after verdicts for the plaintiffs in a trespass action growing out of an injury received by the wife-plaintiff on an icy pavement.

The wife-plaintiff was walking down a hill during late afternoon of January 13, 1948 on the sidewalk in front of defendant Vincenzo Carlini's property at 4011 Vinceton St., Pittsburgh, when she slipped on ridges of ice and was seriously injured.

The jury brought in a verdict of $1500 in her favor and $500 in her husband's favor against the defendants, Carlini and the City of Pittsburgh, and a verdict over in favor of the City and against Carlini in the sum of $2000.

Upon motions for new trial and judgment n.o.v. the lower court refused the motions for a new trial but entered judgment n.o.v. on the ground that "the plaintiff failed to prove constructive notice by testimony that was adequate." There is thus a very narrow question before us. Was there any evidence to support a finding that the defendants had constructive notice of the dangerous condition?

There is no absolute duty on the part of an owner to keep his sidewalks free from snow and ice at all

[ 180 Pa. Super. Page 274]

    times but there is a duty to remove the accumulation within a reasonable time after notice that a dangerous condition exists. Milburn v. Knights of Columbus Home Assn., 167 Pa. Superior Ct. 509, 511, 76 A.2d 466 (1950). If the dangerous condition is of such long duration as to be generally observable, the city and property owner are chargeable with constructive notice. McLaughlin v. City of Corry, 77 Pa. 109 (1874). The burden is upon the plaintiffs to show either actual notice or circumstances from which the owner and city can reasonably be charged with constructive notice of its presence. What will amount to constructive notice of a dangerous ...


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