Appeals, Nos. 31, 32, 33, Jan. T., 1958, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Cameron County, Cot. T., 1955, Nos. 6 and 48, in cases of Harold Chadwick v. Michael Popadick et al., Frank Grimone, Jr., et al. v. Michael Popadick et al., and Frank Grimone v. Michael Popadick et al. Judgments reversed.
Joseph J. Malizia, for appellants.
John D. Gresimer, for appellees.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO
On August 6, 1954, Chadwick, Popadick, Simones, and Saffer, drives of their respective cars A, B, C and D, were moving Indian file from Sinnamohoning to Emporium over Highway Route No. 120 at a rate of speed which could alarm nobody. At a point about one mile south of Sterling Run, Popadick, driver of automobile B, pulled out of his position No. 2, increased his speed from 40 to 50 miles per hour, and moved to position No. 1 in the procession. He had travelled about 150 feet in this new course when he suddenly stopped, not because of any emergency of the road or lack of fuel, but because he wanted to look at a couple of deer grazing in a field adjoining the road.
Chadwick in the new position No. 2, not being forewarned of Popadick's deer-gazing impulse, threw on his brakes but before he could stop, Simones who was following him, and who apparently was on a wool gathering expedition of his own, crashed into his (Chadwick's) rear, and Chadwick crashed into Popadick's rear. Chadwick's car went over an embankment and various injuries were inflicted not necessary to relate here.
Chadwick brought suit against Popadick and Simones. Grimone, who was a passenger in Chadwick's car, brought suit against Chadwick, Popadick, and Simones.
Simones, who collided with Chadwick's rear, admitted his negligence and settled with Chadwick and Grimone, but he was continued as a defendant so that liability between him and Popadick, if any, could be determined. Popadick denied all liability and went to trial. The Trial Court found as a matter of law that Chadwick and Grimone had failed to prove a prima
facie case of negligence against Popadick and directed a verdict in favor of Popadick.
The learned Trial Court erred. Whether Popadick was negligent under the circumstances was a ...