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SCHILLING v. PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY. (11/10/58)

November 10, 1958

SCHILLING, APPELLANT,
v.
PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY.



Appeals, Nos. 140 and 141, March T., 1958, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1955, Nos. 735 and 736, in case of Ruth Farrington et al. v. Pittsburgh Railways Company. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

Samuel J. Goldstein, for appellants.

Leo Daniels, with him Prichard, Lawler & Geltz, for appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Jones

[ 394 Pa. Page 127]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BENJAMIN R. JONES.

On January 3, 1955 Ruth Farrington and Margaret R. Schilling were passengers on a trolley car of the Pittsburgh Railways Company enroute from Homestead to Pittsburgh, Pa. Mrs. Farrington had boarded the trolley car in Homestead at approximately 7:30 p.m. and was seated on the right-hand side of the trolley car looking forward. Margaret R. Schilling, who had boarded the trolley car in Glenwood, Pa., was seated next to Mrs. Farrington and was engaged in conversation with her. At approximately 7:45 p.m. at a point between Flowers and Hazelwood Avenues, Pittsburgh, Pa., the trolley operator brought the car

[ 394 Pa. Page 128]

    to an alleged sudden and abrupt stop. Mrs. Farrington was thrown forward striking her right arm and shoulder on one of the stanchions fixed at regular intervals along the trolley and running from the floor to the ceiling. Mrs. Schilling, who at the time was standing at the front of the car preparatory to disembarking at Hazelwood Avenue, was holding on to an iron rail with her left hand and on to the fare box with her right hand. When the car stopped, Mrs. Schilling's right hand was wrenched from the fare box and the back of her body came in contact with the front of the car.

Separate suits were instituted by Mrs. Farrington and Mrs. Schilling and her husband, John J. Schilling, appellants, against the Pittsburgh Railway Company, appellee. Both suits were consolidated for trial and, at the completion of the appellants' testimony, the trial judge entered compulsory nonsuits in both actions. The court en banc sustained the trial judge and refused to remove the compulsory nonsuits. From that action, these appeals were taken.

Appellants rely on certain evidence to establish negligent conduct on the part of appellee: (1) that the trolley car was seven minutes late; (2) that the car was "swaying" as it proceeded along Second Avenue between Flowers and Hazelwood Avenues; (3) that there was a bump or thud indicative of a contact between the trolley car and something outside the trolley car, followed by the application of the trolley's brakes and the stopping of the car within a matter of seconds. It is to be noted that the appellant, Mrs. Farrington, was not thrown from her seat by the sudden stoppage of the trolley car.

Mrs. Schilling testified on direct examination that as the trolley car proceeded along Second Avenue it "was sort of swerving ...


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