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FEENEY v. SHOOK (11/16/61)

November 16, 1961

FEENEY
v.
SHOOK, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 69 and 70, Oct. T., 1961, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, Dec. T., 1958, Nos. 199 and 200, in cases of Grace Feeney v. Russell D. Shook, and David Andrew Smith v. Same. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

Donald B. Smith, with him Smith, Mountenay & Mims, for appellant.

Harold S. Patton, with him Neal & Patton, for appellees.

Before Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (rhodes, P.j., absent).

Author: Ervin

[ 196 Pa. Super. Page 271]

OPINION BY ERVIN, J.

These are two appeals from the granting of new trials limited to damages only on the ground of inadequacy of the verdicts. Both of the appeals are considered in this opinion.

On August 11, 1957, at or about 9:30 p.m., the plaintiff, David Andrew Smith, was operating a certain automobile

[ 196 Pa. Super. Page 272]

    in a northerly direction on a concrete, fourlane highway, known as Super Highway, at or about its right angle intersection with Hulmeville Road, a stop street. The other plaintiff, Grace Feeney, was a passenger in his vehicle. The defendant was operating a vehicle in a westerly direction on Hulmeville Road; failed to obey the stop sign against him; entered the intersection and crashed into the right side of plaintiff's vehicle, causing personal injury to the two plaintiffs. Separate suits were instituted by the plaintiffs, which were consolidated for trial. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Grace Feeney in the amount of $700.90, being her medical expenses and loss of wages, and for David Andrew Smith in the amount of $1,000.00, being $128.50 over his medical expenses and loss of wages.

It is defendant's contention that the plaintiffs greatly exaggerated their claims in an attempt to recover greater damages than they were entitled to and that the jury realized this; thus the verdicts should be allowed to stand and the court below abused its discretion when it allowed new trials, limited to damages only.

There is no question of the defendant's negligence since he failed to see and stop for the stop sign. With regard to his speed, the defendant testified as follows: "Q. And you have no idea how fast you were going? A. No, I don't. Q. Were you going above fifty? A. I have no idea. Q. Could you have been going above fifty? A.Well, of course, if the machine is made to go over fifty - Q. Was the machine made to go over fifty? A. I don't see why not, it is a '56."

The plaintiff, Grace Feeney, could not have been guilty of contributory negligence since she was a passenger in the Smith car. She suffered a concussion from striking her head on the dashboard; lacerations of ...


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