Appeals, Nos. 30 to 36, inclusive, and No. 75, April T., 1959, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Aug. T., 1956, No. 400, in case of Bruna Yarkosky et al. v. The Caldwell Store, Inc. et al. Judgment affirmed.
Francis H. Patrono, with him McCloskey, Patrono and McCloskey, for appellants.
Charles G. Sweet, for appellants.
P. Vincent Marino, for appellees.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.
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Defendant, The Caldwell Store Inc., operates a department store on South Main Street in the City of Washington, in this State. It is the largest store for the sale of general merchandise in that city. The additional defendants are the owners of the premises. In the conduct of its business the Caldwell corporation has occupied the entire building continuously since 1923 under leases with the owners. The present lease was entered into in 1927. The entrance to the store is at the end of a recessed area referred to as a vestibule or lobby extending into the building from the sidewalk. In the middle of this entranceway there was a
[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 478]
showcase in which merchandise was displayed. On both sides of the showcase there were narrow corridors which provided customers with the only means of ingress and egress to and from the store. Along each passageway there was a large display store window extending from the sidewalk to the store entrance.
Shortly after noon on September 11, 1954, the wifeplaintiff, with another young woman, went into the defendant's store to make some purchases. She was particularly interested in looking for a coat. On this occasion she bought a skirt and as she left the store she was carrying a box in which it had been packed, together with some smaller packages containing other purchases. She also carried a handbag. In the lobby, she and her companion turned into the passageway on their right. Below the show window on that side of the lobby there was a metal faucet three inches from the floor which protruded out into the passageway about five inches from the wall. It was threaded for a hose connection for use by the janitor in flushing the area. This plaintiff had no notice of the protruding faucet and did not know it was there. In the lobby she was attracted to a display of women's coats and dresses in the show window on her right. The faucet was corroded and was dark in color and she did not observe it. As she turned away from the window her foot was caught under the faucet; she was thrown to the floor of the lobby and was injured in the fall. As to the circumstances, she testified: "Well, I came out of the store on the right-hand side going out, and I was walking along and saw a coat and dress in the window, and I love clothes, so, naturally, I went over to look at it. Then there was people to my left,... and when these people moved I wanted to go around and look at the front of this coat and dress, and I just tripped and fell over this pipe." And
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further: "I was looking in the window at the dress and coat. I was going to buy a coat. In fact, I did,..." we assume on a later occasion. There were a number of women on her left in the passageway although they were not crowding her. It was when she turned to get a better look at the coat that she fell. When sued, the Caldwell corporation brought in the owners of the premises as additional defendants and the verdict was for the plaintiffs in the sum of $1,000 against both. In ...