Appeals, Nos. 142 and 143, Jan. T., 1963, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 7 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1958, No. 2399, and Dec. T., 1960, No. 2689, in cases of Louis Izzi v. Philadelphia Transportation Company and Neil Douthart, and Neil Douthart v. Philadelphia Transportation Company. Judgment reversed and new trial granted; reargument refused December 16, 1963.
Harry A. Takiff, with him Martin Greitzer, and Takiff and Bolger, for appellant.
Joseph M. Leib, with him Rubin and Leib, for appellees.
Before Bell, C.j., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BELL
These appeals arise out of actions of trespass brought by appellees for personal injuries resulting from an unusual occurrence involving a so-called trackless trolley and an automobile, which occurred June 17, 1958. The trolley was an instrumentality of appellant,
Philadelphia Transportation Company (hereinafter sometimes referred to as P.T.C.), and the automobile was a 1/2 ton Ford pickup truck which was owned and operated by appellee, Neil Douthart. Appellee, Louis Izzi, was a passenger in the truck. Initially, Izzi sued P.T.C.; P.T.C. joined Douthart as additional defendant. Douthart also sued P.T.C. By stipulation of counsel the cases were consolidated for trial. Although the exact verdict which was rendered is challenged, we are satisfied that the jury returned two verdicts against P.T.C., one of $58,423.75 in favor of Izzi, and one of $1,000 in favor of Douthart. In each case, P.T.C.'s motion for judgment non obstante veredicto, and, alternatively, for a new trial, was denied; and from the judgment entered on each verdict P.T.C. took an appeal.
We believe it will clarify the issues and this Opinion if we state at the beginning (1) that there was no collision between the trolley and the truck, and (2) that the trial Judge submitted the cases to the jury on the twofold basis of (a) negligence, and (b) the exclusive control doctrine.
In disposing of defendant's motion for judgment non obstante veredicto, we shall of course consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict winners, giving them the benefit of all reasonable inferences therefrom: Zilka v. Sanctis Construction Co., 409 Pa. 396, 186 A.2d 897; Bohner v. Eastern Express, Inc., 405 Pa. 463, 175 A.2d 864.
It is equally well established that "The grant or refusal of a new trial by the lower Court will not be reversed by this Court in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion or an error of law which controlled the outcome of the case: F. C. Haab Co., Inc. v. Peltz Street Terminals, Inc., 407 Pa. 276, 278, 180 A.2d 35; Bohner v. Eastern Express, Inc., 405 Pa., supra; Segriff v. Johnston, 402 Pa. 109, 114, 166 A.2d 496": Menyo v. Sphar, 409 Pa. 223, 225, 186 A.2d 9.