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ONDOVCHIK v. ONDOVCHIK. (07/02/63)

July 2, 1963

ONDOVCHIK, APPELLANT,
v.
ONDOVCHIK.



Appeal, No. 21, March T., 1963, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Oct. T., 1958, No. 2869, in case of Carol Dallas Ondovchik v. Albert W. Ondovchik. Order reversed; reargument refused August 2, 1963.

COUNSEL

James P. Gill, with him Edward O. Spotts, Charles S. Morrow, and Harrison & Louik, for appellant.

George M. Weis, with him Weis & Weis, for appellee.

Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.

Author: Roberts

[ 411 Pa. Page 644]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE ROBERTS

On the night of July 11, 1957, appellee, Albert W. Ondovchik, while driving his automobile in the Borough

[ 411 Pa. Page 645]

    of Whitaker toward Kennywood Park, Allegheny County, as he proceeded uphill around a curve to the right where the street car tracks leave the highway, struck almost head-on, an automobile driven by Anthony L. Tyborowski. Another automobile following appellee's car, driven by James H. Cranston, ran into the rear of the Ondovchik car after the latter had hit the Tyborowski car. Appellant, Carol Dallas, then unmarried, was a passenger in the Ondovchik car and suffered serious injuries.

As a result of the collisions, three separate suits were instituted, two of which are not involved in this appeal. On September 19, 1958, suit was begun on behalf of Carol Dallas, a minor, by her parents, and by her parents in their own right against Anthony L. Tyborowski and James H. Cranston, the operators of the two other automobiles involved in the accident. Defendant Cranston brought in appellee as an additional defendant on October 29, 1958.*fn1 The minor plaintiff reached her majority on December 23, 1958, and married the additional defendant, Ondovchik, on May 14, 1960.

In December, 1960, the case was tried, and the jury returned a verdict solely against Albert W. Ondovchik. Motions for a new trial and to vacate the verdict were filed by the additional defendant. The motion for a new trial was refused but, subsequently, the verdict against the additional defendant was set aside because the plaintiff and additional defendant were husband and wife.*fn2

[ 411 Pa. Page 646]

The issue in this appeal is whether, in a tort action, a verdict in favor of the wife-plaintiff against her husband, joined as additional defendant, should be set aside or vacated simply because the parties are husband and wife at the time the verdict was rendered. The court below based its determination entirely on our decision in Meisel v. Little, 407 Pa. 546, 180 A.2d 772 (1962), and ...


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