Appeals, Nos. 343 and 344, Oct, T., 1961, from judgments of Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County, Sept. T., 1960, No. 2985, in case of Lorraine Poulson, a minor, by her parents and natural guardians, et al. v. Damond Gamble. Judgments affirmed.
Sheldon Tabb, for appellant.
Hugh M. Odza, with him David Cohen, for appellees.
Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.
[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 302]
This is a trespass action tried before Judge GLEESON and a jury. The minor plaintiff, Lorraine Poulson, a three-year-old child, was struck and severely injured in the cartway of the street in front of premises at 4326 Wyalusing Avenue, Philadelphia. A verdict of $3,500 was returned for the minor plaintiff and her parents as guardians, and a verdict of $2,225.10 for the parents in their own right. Defendant's motions for new trial and for judgment n.o.v. were overruled, and judgments entered on the verdicts. Defendant has taken appeals to this Court from the judgments entered on the verdicts.
There was no error in overruling appellant's motions for judgment n.o.v. and for a new trial.
The evidence produced at the trial, viewed in a light most favorable to plaintiffs, shows the following: Appellant resided in the 4200 block of Wyalusing Avenue and was driving west to pick up his wife who worked in Upper Darby. The accident occurred about 4:15 p.m. on September 1, 1960. The minor plaintiff, who had been entrusted at the time by the father to the care of her thirteen-year-old sister, Phyllis Poulson, was struck by the left front of appellant's car in the roadway in front of 4326 Wyalusing Avenue. The child's
[ 197 Pa. Super. Page 303]
injuries included fracture of the right femur, fractures of the skull, and lacerations of the face. Appellant was called by plaintiffs as on cross-examination, and testified that cars were solidly parked on both sides of the street; that he saw no children on the sidewalk or in the street; that the child came out from between parked cars and was not observed until she was within eight inches of his left front fender; and that proceeding at a speed of fifteen miles per hour he stopped within "about four feet." However, in a statement to the investigating police officer following the accident, appellant said he was traveling 25 miles per hour with cars parked on both sides of the street and observed children playing in this block.
The issue of negligence turned on the presence of children in this area at the time of the accident and whether cars were parked solidly or with sufficient intervening space to permit appellant to observe the child coming into the street. Under the evidence the question of appellant's negligence was clearly a factual one for determination by the jury.*fn1 A duty is imposed on the operator of a motor vehicle to exercise a high degree of care where there is a reasonable apprehension that a child may run into a place of danger. Geiger v. Schneyer, 398 Pa. 69, 75, 157 A.2d 56; Smith v. Waldman, 193 Pa. Superior Ct. 166, 170, 164 A.2d 20. If appellant could have observed the child a sufficient length of time to stop and avoid the accident, he would have been negligent in not so doing. Cason v. Smith, 188 Pa. Superior Ct. 376, 380, 146 A.2d 634. A prior ...