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BOHNER v. EASTERN EXPRESS (12/05/61)

December 5, 1961

BOHNER, APPELLANT,
v.
EASTERN EXPRESS, INC.



Appeal, No. 169, March T., 1961, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, March T., 1959, No. 112, in case of Allan Gerald Bohner v. Eastern Express, Inc., T & T Trucking Company, Vigo Trailer Rentals and Raymond Riopel. Judgment n.o.v. for each corporate defendant affirmed; order granting new trial to individual defendant reversed.

COUNSEL

John D. Ray, with him Ray & Good, and McArdle, Harrington & McLaughlin, for plaintiff, appellant.

Myron E. Rowley, with him Ralph E. Smith, James E. Rowley, and Rowley, Smith & Rowley, for corporate defendants, appellees.

Thompson Bradshaw, with him Bradshaw and Panner, for individual defendant, appellee.

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

Author: Bell

[ 405 Pa. Page 465]

OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BELL.

This is an action in trespass arising out of a rearend collision in which a passenger car ran into a tractor-trailer on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The individual defendant - Raymond Riopel - was the owner and the driver of the passenger car. Plaintiff-appellant, who was riding in the passenger car, suffered personal injuries. The jury returned a verdict in plaintiff's favor and against all defendants. All of the defendants filed motions for judgment non obstante veredicto and for a new trial. The Court below entered judgment n.o.v. for the corporate defendants - Eastern

[ 405 Pa. Page 466]

Express, Inc., T & T Trucking Company and Vigo Trailer Rentals - and granted a new trial to Riopel, the individual defendant. From these judgments and from the order granting Riopel a new trial, plaintiff took this appeal.

Appeal From Judgments Non Obstante Veredicto

"In considering a motion for judgment n.o.v., the evidence must be considered in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, and he must be given the benefit of every reasonable inference of fact arising therefrom, and any conflict in the evidence must be resolved in his favor: Ason v. Leonhart, 402 Pa. 312, 165 A.2d 625; McDonald v. Ferrebee, 366 Pa. 543, 79 A.2d 232": Kaplan v. Kaplan, 404 Pa. 147, 148, 171 A.2d 166.

The Evidence

In considering the judgments n.o.v. the facts may be thus stated:

About 4 o'clock on the morning of January 6, 1957, two men, whose disabled car was parked on the berm on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Beaver Valley Interchange, flagged down the tractor-trailer which was operated by defendant Eastern Express, Inc., for defendants T & T Trucking Co. and Vigo Trailer Rentals. The driver of the tractor-trailer was proceeding in a westerly direction about a mile and a quarter west of the Beaver Valley Interchange. When he came to the crest of an incline he saw the two men standing by their car. The truck driver slowed down to ascertain whether they were in need of assistance. When he was opposite them, he determined that they did need assistance, and he thereupon ...


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