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KIMMEL v. YELLOW CAB CO. (05/11/64)

May 11, 1964

KIMMEL
v.
YELLOW CAB CO., APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 231, 232 and 233, Jan. T., 1963, from judgments of Courts of Common Pleas Nos. 3 and 4 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1958, No. 2163, and Sept. T., 1958, No. 1197, in cases of Wilbur Kimmel and Joseph Smith v. Yellow Cab Co. and Wilbur Kimmel; and Alfred Peters v. Wilbur Kimmel, additional defendant. Nos. 231, 232 judgment reversed; No. 233 judgment affirmed; reargument refused June 29, 1964.

COUNSEL

Tom P. Monteverde, with him Samuel D. Slade, William A. Schnader, and Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, for appellants.

James E. Beasley, with him Sheldon L. Albert, and Beasley & Ornsteen, for appellees.

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

Author: Cohen

[ 414 Pa. Page 561]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE COHEN

This is an appeal by the Yellow Cab Co. (Cab Co.) and its former driver, Alfred Peters, from judgments for appellees in actions arising out of an intersectional collision between Peters' cab and the automobile in which appellees were driving.

Appellees, Wilbur Kimmel and Joseph Smith, brought suit against Cab Co. for personal injuries and (in the case of Kimmel) property damage. Cab Co. joined Kimmel, the driver of the car, as an additional

[ 414 Pa. Page 562]

    defendant and filed a counterclaim against Kimmel for damage to the cab. Peters brought suit against Kimmel for personal injuries. These lawsuits were consolidated for trial. The jury concluded that the accident was attributable solely to Peters' negligence and awarded Kimmel $55,018.27 and Smith $1,000. Cab Co. and Peters appealed to this Court.

Since appellees are the verdict winners we accept their version of the accident. Kimmel testified that on January 15, 1958, he was driving home from work accompanied by Smith. Between ten and ten-thirty p.m. they were proceeding west on Girard Avenue at 15 to 20 miles per hour approaching the Twentieth Street intersection. There was a slight rain falling. When the Kimmel car was about four car lengths from the intersection, the traffic light at the intersection was red for Girard Avenue traffic. When the car had advanced to within three car lengths of the intersection the traffic lights changed to green for Girard Avenue. At this moment Kimmel looked to his left for oncoming traffic (knowing that Twentieth Street is one-way going north) and then to his right for pedestrians entering from the sidewalk. Not seeing anyone he proceeded to within two car lengths of the intersection where he again looked to his left and noticed lights coming north on Twentieth Street. He again looked to the right for pedestrians and seeing none proceeded to within one car length of the intersection at which time he again looked to his left and recognized the oncoming car as a cab. The front of the cab seemed to dip slightly at that moment and apparently assuming it was about to stop, Kimmel continued into the intersection. The cab then appeared to pick up speed and Kimmel brought his car to a complete halt just before the car tracks crossing north on Twentieth Street. As the cab proceeded into the intersection,

[ 414 Pa. Page 563]

    the back end slid off the trolley tracks, the right rear sliding across the left front of the Kimmel car causing personal injuries to appellees and damage to the car. Smith's account of the collision substantially agreed with that of Kimmel. Smith added, however, that when he first saw the cab, the Kimmel car was three car lengths from the ...


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