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ANZENBERGER v. NICKOLS (ET AL. (03/17/64)

March 17, 1964

ANZENBERGER
v.
NICKOLS (ET AL., APPELLANT).



Appeal, No. 174, March T., 1963, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Jan. T., 1961, No. 1793, in case of Francis D. Anzenberger, Jr. v. Theodore E. Nickols, Campbell Soup Company, and Campbell Sales Company. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Harry W. Miller, with him Royston, Robb, Leonard, Edgecombe & Miller, for appellant.

Regis C. Nairn, with him Nairn & Martin, for appellees.

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

Author: O'brien

[ 413 Pa. Page 544]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE O'BRIEN

This appeal comes to us from the judgment entered on the jury's verdict after the refusal of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County to grant the appellant's motion for judgment non obstante veredicto.

In this action of trespass, the jury returned a verdict of $68,000. in favor of the plaintiff-appellee against the Campbell Sales Company, defendant appellant, and a verdict in favor of Campbell Sales Company, over and against Theodore E. Nickols. A motion for compulsory non-suit was granted in favor of Campbell Soup Company.

[ 413 Pa. Page 545]

The facts which the jury could have determined from the evidence are as follows: The plaintiff-appellee was driving his automobile in a southerly direction on the McKees Rocks Bridge, located in Stowe Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in the right hand lane. At approximately 9:15 p.m. on November 2, 1960, he was hit head-on by an automobile driven by the defendant, Nickols. The automobile driven by the defendant at the time of the accident suddenly crossed over the medial strip into the lane of traffic reserved for traffic coming in the opposite direction. At the time of the accident, the defendant, Nickols, was employed as a traveling salesman for the Campbell Sales Company.

The question for us to determine is whether the issue of the scope of the employment of the defendant, Nickols, was properly before the jury. In order for us to make this determination, we must examine the facts pertinent to Nickols' employment. However, when we consider a motion for judgment n.o.v., the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict winner. Chambers v. Montgomery, 411 Pa. 339, 192 A.2d 355 (1963), and cases cited therein.

The facts viewed in this light are these: Nickols was employed as a traveling salesman for Campbell Sales Company, whose sales office is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His job required him to travel by automobile in certain counties in Pennsylvania, visiting prospective outlets to promote the sales and distribution of the products distributed by the Campbell Sales Company. On the morning of November 1, 1960, Nickols began a trip through Butler, Franklin, Oil City, New Bethlehem, Leeper, Kittanning, and other towns in the northwestern section of the Commonwealth. The purpose of ...


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