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BRODSKY v. BOCKMAN (01/16/62)

January 16, 1962

BRODSKY
v.
BOCKMAN, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 77, Oct. T., 1961, from judgment of Municipal Court of Philadelphia County, Nov. T., 1958, No. 2950, in case of Rose W. Brodsky et al. v. Geraldine M. Bockman. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Albert L. Bricklin, with him Bennett and Bricklin, for appellant.

Beryl E. Hoffman, with him Max E. Cohen, and Henry Temin, for appellees.

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

Author: Watkins

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 95]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is an appeal from the judgment of the Municipal Court (now County Court) of Philadelphia County, on a verdict in trespass of $1350 for the plaintiff-appellee, Rose Brodsky, and $100 for her husband, Martin Brodsky, plaintiff-appellee, who had joined in the suit, and against Geraldine M. Bockman, the defendant-appellant; and from the denial by the court below of motions for judgment n.o.v. and for a new trial.

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 96]

The plaintiff, Rose Brodsky, was driving her husband's car on September 24, 1955, east on Bridge Street, Philadelphia. She approached the intersection of Bridge Street and Castor Avenue at the southeastern corner of the intersection. Bridge Street is a two-way street described as having a four-car width, running east and west, and Castor Avenue is a two-way avenue running north and south, 48 feet wide. The traffic on Bridge Street at this intersection was controlled by a stop sign. She testified that when she arrived at the intersection there was a truck in front of her so she stopped behind it. The truck made a right-hand turn to go south on Castor Avenue but could not complete its motion southward because of traffic congestion. The plaintiff moved her car eastward to the stop sign, between 5 and 10 feet of the west curb line of Castor Avenue, at which point she stopped a second time. She was unable at that point to observe northbound traffic on Castor Avenue because of the line of stopped cars. She could observe southbound traffic on Castor Avenue. She then proceeded to move forward into Castor Avenue until she was past the back of the stopped truck when she stopped the third time. The front of her car was now at about the center of Castor Avenue.

From this position in the center of Castor Avenue she was able to observe northbound traffic and see the defendant's car moving northward on the right side of Castor Avenue. She estimated the defendant's car to be about 100 to 125 feet away and traveling at about 15 to 20 miles per hour. She then, believing that "I had plenty of time to get across the street", proceeded to cross the remaining one-half of Castor Avenue at a speed of 3 to 5 miles per hour. She testified, "I was practically across the street and the front of my car was at the curb (Southeastern curb of Castor Avenue) when I checked again and there she was and she was going much faster at that time ... about twice as fast

[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 97]

    as when I first saw her." The defendant's car struck plaintiff's car about its middle and a little toward the rear.

The question involved in this appeal is whether the plaintiff was negligent as a matter of law. Contributory negligence may be declared as a matter of law only when it is so clearly revealed that fair and reasonable persons cannot disagree as to its existence. Kurtz v. Phila. Transportation Co., 324, 147 A.2d 347 (1959). "Declaring an individual guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law should be done only where the conclusion is inescapable." Enfield v. Stout, 400 Pa. 6, 12, 161 A.2d 22 (1960). Reading the testimony in this case in the light ...


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