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HARTMAN v. GIERALTOWSKI. (06/13/62)

June 13, 1962

HARTMAN, APPELLANT,
v.
GIERALTOWSKI.



Appeal No. 1, April T., 1962 from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1957, No. 483, in case of Betty J. Hartman v. Thomas Paul Gieraltowski. Judgment reversed.

COUNSEL

Edward O. Spotts, for appellant.

H. N. Rosenberg, with him Rosenberg and Rosenberg, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ervin, Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ.

Author: Watkins

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 317]

OPINION BY WATKINS, J.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, entered on a jury's verdict in favor of the defendant-appellee, Thomas Paul Gieraltowski, and against the plaintiffs, Betty J. Hartman, the appellant, and William L. Stanley, in a trespass

[ 198 Pa. Super. Page 318]

    action growing out of an automobile collision; and from the order of the court below refusing a new trial.

The action arose from a rear-end collision that took place March 26, 1956 on East Ohio Street, near its intersection with Heinz Street in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The record shows the Ford automobile of the plaintiffs was stopped in the curb lane, while travelling westwardly on East Ohio Street behind another automobile, when it was struck from behind by the automobile operated by the defendant. At the time of the accident the plaintiff, now Betty J. Hartman, was Betty J. Stanley, wife of William L. Stanley, occupied the front seat of the car with her husband.

The car was stopped in plain view of the defendant's oncoming car, and while he traveled a city block approaching it. He testified that he was travelling about 20 to 25 miles per hour as he approached the intersection. He further testified that when he attempted to apply his foot brake, at least four car lengths away, the brake would not hold; that he had no prior notice of the defect in the brakes; that if they had been working he would have had sufficient time to stop. He further testified that he could not turn into the east-bound lane because of oncoming traffic; and that when he found his foot brake had failed "went for my emergency brake and it seemed like that was jammed so it wouldn't come out at all, so I figured maybe I will try hopping the curb. So when I hit - The curb was too high, so when I hit the curb - Meanwhile I was putting it in second gear and it slowed me down some, I was going about 10 miles an hour, and when I hit the curb it threw me over to the other car."

The plaintiffs sought to recover for property damage and personal injuries. Upon the return of the verdict in favor of the defendant, a motion for a new trial was filed on ...


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