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COSTANZO v. JIM BELCHER BUICK (03/18/59)

March 18, 1959

COSTANZO
v.
JIM BELCHER BUICK, INC., APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 7, Oct. T., 1959, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, June T., 1957, No. 2006, in case of Vincent Costanzo v. Jim Belcher Buick, Inc. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Paul Lane Ives, for appellant.

Robert J. Scallan, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Gunther

[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 137]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

This appeal is from the refusal of a motion for judgment n.o.v. after verdict was rendered in favor of plaintiff, Vincent Costanzo, in an action of assumpsit to recover for the loss of an automobile by fire.

On November 10, 1956, plaintiff delivered his 1955 Buick automobile to the defendant, Jim Belcher Buick, Inc., at its place of business for servicing and inspection.

[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 138]

Defendant was engaged in the business of selling, servicing and repairing automobiles at 33 East Baltimore Avenue in the Borough of Clifton Heights, Delaware County. Around 4:00 P.M. on November 11, 1956, a fire occurred which badly damaged defendant's building and a number of automobiles, including that of plaintiff.

When the fire broke out, flames were seen coming out of the center automobile parked in defendant's showroom in which defendant had installed a light fixture consisting of a bracket extending across the inside ceiling of the automobile, located between the dome light in the center and the rear window, from which a six inch diameter fluorescent tube light was suspended four or five inches from the ceiling. William Francis McGinnis, plaintiff's witness, testified that he discovered the fire and turned in the fire alarm. He testified that the flames were coming out of the window of the center car and rising above the car up and around the loft of the office over the showroom but that the area of the showroom floor was not burning, not even around the center car.

William James Myers testified that the interior of this particular car was burned out completely, but the interiors of the other cars in the building were only scorched and smoke-damaged. Both he and Mr. Taylor, as expert witnesses, testified that in their opinion the fire originated in this particular car. Plaintiff further proved that the light in question was attached to a light cord running from a standard receptacle in the showroom to the light fixture in the car by way of the trunk of the car. Defendant's used car manager testified that when he passed defendant's showroom at about 3:00 ...


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