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LAMBERT v. PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY. (11/14/61)

November 14, 1961

LAMBERT, APPELLANT,
v.
PITTSBURGH RAILWAYS COMPANY.



Appeals, Nos. 204 and 205, March T., 1961, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1958, No. 2119, in case of Lila Lambert v. Pittsburgh Railways Company et al. Judgment for additional defendant reversed, judgment for original defendant affirmed; reargument refused January 2, 1962.

COUNSEL

Stephen J. Harris, with him Litman & Litman, for plaintiff, appellant.

Russell J. Butler, Jr., with him Weis & Weis, for additional defendant, appellee.

Leo Daniels, with him James A. Geltz, and Prichard, Lawler & Geltz, for original defendant, appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen and Alpern, JJ.

Author: Cohen

[ 405 Pa. Page 365]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN.

Plaintiff-appellant, Lila Lambert, was a passenger on a bus operated by the defendant-appellee, Pittsburgh Railways Company. During the course of the trip along Frankstown Road, the bus came to a "quick, sudden" stop, and as a result plaintiff, who was seated in the side seat immediately behind the driver, was thrown

[ 405 Pa. Page 366]

    from her place, struck her head on an iron railing and fell to the floor of the bus sustaining injuries. According to the bus driver and several passengers on the bus, the stop was necessitated when a car, allegedly owned by the additional defendant, Neil Frescura, pulled out from the left curb of Frankstown Road, and swung directly into the path of the oncoming bus.

Before leaving the bus after the accident, plaintiff signed a card on which was printed or written in long-hand, "Was not operator's fault." At trial, plaintiff admitted signing the card, but denied that the words above her signature were in her handwriting.

At the time of the accident, the bus driver did not get the license number of the car that pulled into the path of the bus. He testified, however, that he had frequently seen the vehicle in the area both prior and subsequent to the accident, and that he obtained the license number the following day. The automobile is registered in the name of Frescura, the additional defendant, who works at a garage on Frankstown Road at the scene of the accident and normally parks his car along the curb on either side of the street. His employment time card reveals that he checked out of the garage within minutes of the time of the accident. Frescura claims, however, that he knew nothing about the accident until served with process nearly three months later.

After the jury failed to agree, the court below, sitting en banc, entered judgments on the whole record in favor of both the original defendant and the additional defendant, in accord with the ...


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