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NIXON v. CHIARILLI (05/21/56)

May 21, 1956

NIXON
v.
CHIARILLI, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 182 and 183, Jan. T., 1956, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of McKean County, Oct. T., 1954, Nos. 119 and 119 1/2, in cases of Helen C. Nixon v. Anthony O. Chiarilli and Oron W. Nixon, and Oron W. Nixon v. Anthony O. Chiarilli. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

Murray R. Garber, for defendant, appellant.

R. T. Mutzabaugh, with him Ned A. Jones, for plaintiff, appellee.

Robert J. Healy, with him W. D. Gallup, E. G. Potter and Gallup, Potter & Gallup, for additional defendant.

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

Author: Chidsey

[ 385 Pa. Page 219]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

These are appeals from orders denying defendant's motions for new trials and for judgments non obstante veredicto.

Plaintiffs, Oron W. Nixon and Helen C. Nixon, husband and wife, brought suit in trespass for damages resulting from a collision of an automobile in which plaintiffs were riding, driven by Oron W. Nixon, and a car owned and operated by the defendant, Anthony O Chiarilli. The suit of the husband and wife was severed for the purpose of joining the husband-driver as an additional defendant in the wife's action. The

[ 385 Pa. Page 220]

    two actions were then tried together before the same jury which returned verdicts in favor of the wife-plaintiff in the amount of $5000 and in favor of the husband-plaintiff in the amount of $2,500, against the defendant, Anthony O. Chiarilli, and also a verdict in favor of the additional defendant, Oron W. Nixon. The court below overruled defendant's motions for judgments n.o.v. and new trials and final judgment was entered. These appeals followed.

In passing on defendant's motions for judgments n.o.v., we must review the evidence and consider all the facts and reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom in a light most favorable to plaintiffs' cause. Thus viewed, the facts may be summarized as follows: At about 5:30 P.M. on January 25, 1953, plaintiffs were proceeding in an automobile operated by Oron W. Nixon south on Route 219, a wide, two-lane, hard surfaced highway running north and south between Bradford and Custer City, Pennsylvania. It was late dusk, cold, and windy, and the highway was covered with a light layer of hard packed snow and patches of ice. Mr. Nixon was proceeding at 20 to 25 miles per hour. When the Nixon car was about one mile south of Bradford, Mr. Nixon noticed defendant's car, approaching from the south or opposite direction, crowd another motorist, who was proceeding south about 300 feet in front of Mr. Nixon, over to the right. Mr. Nixon took his foot off the accelerator and proceeded very slowly, keeping defendant's car under observation as it approached him. Thereafter the defendant's automobile returned to the northbound ...


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