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COOK v. PHILADELPHIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY (04/21/64)

April 21, 1964

COOK
v.
PHILADELPHIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 122, Jan. T., 1964, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 2 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1959, No. 1446, in case of Rosa Lee Cook v. Philadelphia Transportation Company. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Langdon W. Harris, III, for appellant.

John R. Padova, with him Edward B. Bergman, and solo, Bergman and Trommer, for appellee.

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

Author: Musmanno

[ 414 Pa. Page 155]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

The litigation in this case revolves around an unfortunate but more or less conventional motor vehicle accident. The appeal, however, has an unusual feature in that the error most urged by the appellant, has to do, not with the manner in which the accident occurred,

[ 414 Pa. Page 156]

    but is directed toward the phraseology employed in describing a liquor-dispensing establishment known as the "Crazy Bar."

The plaintiff, Mrs. Rosa Lee Cook, testified that in the early morning (about 1:30 or 2 o'clock) of December 6, 1958, she was struck by a bus belonging to the defendant, Philadelphia Transportation Company, as she was crossing 52nd Street in Philadelphia at its intersection with Lancaster Avenue. The defendant produced a witness, Mrs. Florence Devlin, who testified that Mrs. Cook started across 52nd Street at a point some 90 feet south of Lancaster, that is to say she crossed in the middle of a block. The point 90 feet south of Lancaster is on a line directly opposite an exit from the place known as the "Crazy Bar." The trial judge ruled, upon due representation by plaintiff's counsel, that during the trial the witnesses and lawyers could not use the name "Crazy Bar," because this might create a prejudice in the minds of the jury, suggesting on the part of the plaintiff an inebriacy or excessive use of intoxicants of which there was no evidence whatsoever.

About three hours before the accident Mrs. Cook consumed a glass or two of beer at the home of a Mrs. Sanders. Later, she, Mrs. Sanders and a Mrs. Moseley went out looking for a Mrs. Alice Brown. They were informed that Mrs. Brown might have gone to a building "somewhere near the southeast corner of 52nd and Lancaster". Mrs. Cook went into this building, asked for Mrs. Brown and, not finding her, left. She remained in this building for not more than five or ten minutes, and while there drank no beverage. As she came out of the building on the Lancaster side, she started across 52nd Street.

Defendant's counsel cross-examined Mrs. Cook at length on all phases of the accident. In addition to Mrs. Devlin, whose ...


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