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LAFACE v. BRENTWOOD MOTOR COACH COMPANY (11/27/56)

November 27, 1956

LAFACE
v.
BRENTWOOD MOTOR COACH COMPANY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 184, March T., 1956, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Apr. T., 1953, No. 1094, in case of Eugene LaFace, Jr. v. Brentwood Motor Coach Company. Judgment affirmed. Trespass for personal injuries. Before MARSHALL, J. Verdict for plaintiff in sum of $25,000; defendant's motions for new trial and judgment n.o.v. denied and judgment entered on verdict. Defendant appealed.

COUNSEL

H. Fred Mercer, for appellant.

P. J. McArdle, for appellee.

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

Author: Arnold

[ 387 Pa. Page 19]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ARNOLD

We are bound by the verdict of the jury which sustains the following facts:

On a clear, dry day in November the plaintiff was operating a Plymouth sedan in a westerly direction on Bausman Street toward Saw Mill Run Boulevard, in the city of Pittsburgh. Bausman Street dead-ends on Saw Mill Run Boulevard and is a two lane, 20 foot roadway running east and west, which fans out into an intersection 153 feet wide, thereby permitting traffic to exit from the boulevard into Bausman Street. It also permits entry upon the northbound lane of Saw Mill Run Boulevard without using the lanes actually intersecting with that boulevard. The boulevard in question is a four lane, two way street, 56 feet wide, running north and south, with a concrete divider. Directional lights control the left turn from Bausman Street into the southbound traffic on Saw Mill Run Boulevard, and also controls the left turn from the

[ 387 Pa. Page 20]

    boulevard into the eastbound traffic on Bausman Street. Likewise the traffic light controls the north and southbound traffic on the boulevard.

At approximately 4:30 P.M. the plaintiff was driving west on Bausman Street. At a distance of 400 feet from the intersection he saw that the directional light was red and reduced his speed so that he could stop "on a dime". Until 25 or 30 feet from the intersection he proceeded at approximately 8 to 10 miles per hour, when he noticed defendant's bus to his left, travelling northerly towards the intersection. Plaintiff continued at this low rate of speed; saw that the light changed to green; and when approximately 10 to 15 feet from Saw Mill Run Boulevard again looked to his left and saw the bus approaching at a distance of "possibly 100 feet". He then looked to his right and determined that the southbound traffic on Saw Mill Run Boulevard had been halted by the traffic light. He did not look again but stated that he "thought everything was under control". He crossed the two northbound lanes and began making a turn to the left to go south on the boulevard when he "saw or imagined a bus".

As a result of his injuries the plaintiff had no further recollection. The defendant's bus struck the plaintiff's automobile while the bus was on the wrong side of the road.

Accepting these facts, as we must, it is clear that the plaintiff cannot be convicted of contributory negligence as a matter of law, but that this question was for the jury: ...


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