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SWARTZ v. SUNDERLAND. (06/15/60)

June 15, 1960

SWARTZ, APPELLANT,
v.
SUNDERLAND.



Appeal, No. 29, March T., 1960, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Mifflin County, Aug. T., 1958, No. 358. in case of Milton Swartz v. Steward M. Sunderland. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Robert Siegel, with him Siegel and Siegel, for appellant.

Albert Houck, for appellee.

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

Author: Gunther

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 466]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

This appeal involves the interpretation of the Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act of 1951, July 29, P.L. 1130, 12 P.S. 2082.

On April 22, 1957, an accident occurred on U.S. Highway Route 22 in Oliver Township, Mifflin County, involving appellant, Milton Swartz, and Burnice H.

[ 192 Pa. Super. Page 467]

Stauffer. Appellant was driving a Buick automobile in an easterly direction on said highway when he collided with a Chevrolet station wagon, traveling in a westerly direction, owned by the BKW Coach Line, Inc., and operated by Mrs. Stauffer, in which Harold F. Stauffer was riding as a guest passenger. Appellee, Steward M. Sunderland, allegedly was traveling in a westerly direction and was passing the station wagon. In order to avoid a head-on collision, appellant was compelled to apply his brakes which caused his vehicle to cross over to the westbound lane and collide with the station wagon. As a result of the collision, both the station wagon and appellant's car were damaged. Appellant's damage to his automobile is not here involved. The station wagon repairs amounted to $949.48 and the sum of $200.00 was expended by BKW Coach Lines, Inc., for towing and loss of use. In addition, both Burnice H. Stauffer and Harold F. Stauffer sustained severe personal injuries.

Appellant alleged that the damages were caused as the direct and proximate cause of the carelessness of appellee. It was also alleged that the Stauffers claimed appellant to have been the negligent party and that appellant claimed that both he and appellee were joint tort-feasors. On October 28, 1957, without any suit having been filed for the recovery of the damages, appellant discharged the alleged common liability of himself and appellee by paying Burnice H. Stauffer and Harold F. Stauffer $1,001.50, and by paying to BKW Coach Line, Inc., $1,049.48. Releases were obtained from said parties in favor of both appellant and appellee.

On August 1, 1958, appellant filed a suit in assumpsit against appellee to recover contribution of one-half of the amount paid for the two releases obtained, basing ...


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