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MCGOWAN v. UNITED STATES

November 9, 1957

Thomas G. McGOWAN and Pauline McGowan, his wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Defendant, Thomas G. McGowan, Third-Party Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WATSON

This action arises out of a collision between the vehicle owned and operated by plaintiff Thomas G. McGowan and a mail truck owned by the United States Post Office Department. The accident occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 1, 1955. On that date, at approximately 1:30 A.M., plaintiff Thomas G. McGowan was operating his automobile in an easterly direction upon Chestnut Street and at a point upon that avenue near 41st Street his vehicle collided with the rear of a mail truck which was parked upon Chestnut Street. Plaintiff Pauline McGowan suffered various injuries in the accident which required extensive medical and dental care and treatment. She is seeking to recover damages for these injuries and her husband, Thomas, seeks to recover damages to compensate him for the loss of his wife's consortium and also for repairs to his automobile caused by the accident. The case was tried by the Court sitting without a jury.

Findings of Fact

 1. Plaintiffs, Thomas G. McGowan and his wife, Pauline McGowan, are residents of the State of New Jersey.

 2. On February 1, 1955 at approximately 1:30 A.M., plaintiff Thomas McGowan was operating his automobile in an easterly direction upon Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 3. At a point several feet west from the intersection of Chestnut Street and 41st Street his vehicle struck the rear of a truck owned by the Post Office Department of the United States of America.

 4. At the time of the accident, the weather was clear and the surface of the road in good repair.

 5. At the point of the accident, Chestnut Street is about 44 feet in width and traffic movement is restricted to that travelling in an easterly direction.

 6. Defendant's truck was equipped with various colored lights, all of which were burning at the time of the collision.

 7. In the vicinity of the point of the accident, Chestnut Street is illuminated with street lights, mounted upon steel posts which enable a person with normal vision to observe objects 250 feet distant.

 8. At the point of intersection of Chestnut Street and 41st Street traffic movement is controlled by traffic signals.

 9. Defendant's driver had stopped his vehicle in compliance with the traffic signal and had just begun to resume his journey when plaintiff Thomas McGowan drove his automobile into the rear of defendant's truck.

 10. Plaintiff Thomas G. McGowan failed to operate his vehicle in a safe and prudent manner.

 11. Plaintiff Thomas G. McGowan did not attempt to bring his vehicle to a full stop after he observed defendant's truck, but attempted to pass around it.

 12. Plaintiff Thomas G. McGowan was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, which negligence was the ...


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