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LOCKHART ET UX. v. LONGMORE (ET AL. (06/10/59)

June 10, 1959

LOCKHART ET UX., APPELLANTS,
v.
LONGMORE (ET AL., APPELLANT).



Appeals, Nos. 172 and 173, April T., 1958, from orders of County Court of Allegheny County, No. 77 of 1954, in case of Charles Lockhart et ux. v. Archie W. Longmore et al. Orders affirmed.

COUNSEL

Daniel B. Winters, with him Stein & Winters, for appellants.

Bliss R. Mentzer, with him Weis & Weis, for appellee.

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

Author: Ervin

[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 457]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

In these appeals we are asked to overrule the granting of a new trial in an accident case arising out of the right angle collision of two automobiles. The plaintiffs, Charles and Catherine Lockhart, were the owners of a Pontiac automobile which was being driven by Adam Bowman in an easterly direction on North Avenue near its intersection with Federal Street in the City of Pittsburgh shortly after 1:00 a.m. on May 17, 1953. At the same time the defendant, Archie W. Longmore, was driving his automobile in a northerly direction on Federal Street at or near its intersection with North Avenue. Federal Street is a two-way street, six lanes in width. At the intersection of the two above-mentioned streets there was in operation a traffic light which flashed a red signal for traffic on North Avenue and an amber signal for traffic on Federal Street. Bowman testified that he stopped for the red light, looked to his left and then to his right, where he saw the defendant five or six hundred feet away, started to cross, saw the defendant "a couple of hundred feet away" at his second glance to the right, and then felt the impact of the collision on the right rear side of the Pontiac just after it had crossed the center line of Federal Street and had entered the westerly northbound lane thereof.

Mrs. Bowman testified for the plaintiffs but really knew nothing about the accident. She said: "I do not know anything, only that he hit our car. That is all I know about it." She did not testify that her husband stopped before entering the intersection.

Archie W. Longmore testified: "Just as I approached the intersection I slowed down and looked to my right and to my left and I saw Mr. Bowman's car two or three car lengths from the corner, and I tried to go through the intersection, then I looked to

[ 189 Pa. Super. Page 458]

    the right and just then Mr. Bowman came straight through the red light and the next thing I knew we had a collision." He also testified that the impact was in the middle of the intersection and that the right front fender of the Pontiac struck his left front fender, causing the two cars to come together in the rear.

A disinterested witness, Theodore August Clark, testified that the car which Bowman was driving did not stop before entering the intersection.

Following the close of the testimony, the court permitted the plaintiffs to amend their claim and state that their automobile was operated by a bailee and not for any purpose of the plaintiffs. The defendant was permitted to file an answer denying the bailment and averring that Adam Bowman was operating the vehicle as an agent for the owners and was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, against the original defendant, Archie W. Longmore, allowing damages for their car in the amount of $469.06. It also found Adam Bowman, the additional defendant, not guilty of negligence and gave him a verdict on the counterclaim of Archie W. Longmore. The defendant, Archie W. Longmore, filed motions for judgment n.o.v. and a new trial. Thereafter the trial judge, the Honorable HOMER S. BROWN, was appointed to serve as a judge in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. After argument before a court in banc of the County Court of Allegheny County, the trial judge having ...


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