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GIRAGOSIAN v. PHILADELPHIA (ET AL. (01/12/59)

January 12, 1959

GIRAGOSIAN
v.
PHILADELPHIA (ET AL., APPELLANT).



Appeals, Nos. 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, and 339, Jan. T., 1958, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1955, No. 4990, Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1955, No. 4135, and Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1956, No. 277, in cases of Rose Giragosian et al. v. City of Philadelphia et al., and Daniel P. Heatwole v. Same, and Middle Atlantic Truck Rentals, Inc. v. Same. Judgments affirmed.

COUNSEL

I. R. Kremer, with him Max E. Cohen, Joseph D. Shein, and Henry Temin, for appellant.

Marshall A. Bernstein, with him Bernstein & Bernstein, for appellees.

Avram G. Adler, with him Abraham E. Freedman, and Freedman, Landy and Lorry, for appellees.

David Berger, City Solicitor, and I. Jerome Stern, Assistant City Solicitor, for City of Philadelphia, appellee.

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

Author: Musmanno

[ 394 Pa. Page 477]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO.

This litigation arose out of a series of rapidly happening mishaps which found a City of Philadelphia dump truck leaving its own side of the highway, crossing over to the wrong side of the highway, crashing into a car traveling in the opposite direction, then leaving the road completely to engulf a parked tractor-trailer, and finally emptying the garbage contents of the truck on to an innocent pedestrian waiting for a bus. Four victims of the multiple collision - Rose and Sarkis Giragosian, who were riding in the oncoming car; Daniel P. Heatwole, driver of the parked tractor-trailer; and Middle Atlantic Truck Rentals, owners of the tractor-trailer - entered suit against the City of Philadelphia, which brought in an additional defendant by the name of Mrs. Ruth F. Baranack, the driver of a car which had no physical contact with the colliding vehicles, but was charged with being the original cause which set

[ 394 Pa. Page 478]

    off the vehicular chain-reaction, to be hereinafter described.

In the ensuing three lawsuits (Rose Giragosian and Sarkis Giragosian, together with Garabed Giragosian, husband of Rose and father of Sarkis, all combined in one action), the jury returned verdicts for all the plaintiffs. Mrs. Baranack moved for judgment n.o.v., and a new trial, which motions were refused by the lower court. She has appealed to this Court, asking for a new trial on the basis that the verdicts were against the weight of the evidence and that the one in favor of Heatwole was excessive.

From a reading of the printed record of some 350 pages, a studying of photographs introduced at the trial, and consideration of the briefs, plus the oral arguments of counsel, we arrive at the following narrative of the strange happenings on August 25, 1955, on U.S. Route No. 1, also known as ...


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