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PRITTS v. WIGLE. (05/11/64)

May 11, 1964

PRITTS, APPELLANT,
v.
WIGLE.



Appeals, Nos. 186 and 187, March T., 1963, from judgment and order of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, July T., 1959, No. 766, and July T., 1960, No. 282, in cases of Vivian M. Pritts, administratrix of estate of Donald C. Pritts, deceased, v. Charles M. Wigle, Jr. and Margaret Evelyn Lindh, executors of estate of Charles M. Wigle, Sr., deceased; and Charles M. Wigle, Jr. and Margaret Evelyn Lindh, executors of estate of Charles M. Wigle, Sr., deceased, v. Vivian M. Pritts, administratrix of estate of Donald C. Pritts, deceased. Judgment n.o.v. and order granting new trial reversed.

COUNSEL

George W. Lamproplos, with him Myron W. Lamproplos, H. Reginald Belden, and Cassidy & Lamproplos, for appellant.

Vincent E. Williams, with him Smith, Best and Horn, for appellee.

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

Author: O'brien

[ 414 Pa. Page 310]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE O'BRIEN

On October 2, 1958, an automobile accident occurred and resulted in the deaths of the drivers of the two automobiles involved, Donald C. Pritts and Charles M. Wigle, Sr. Pritts' administratrix filed an action of trespass against the executors of the estate of Wigle under the wrongful death and survival acts. Wigle's executors filed an action of trespass against the administratrix of the estate of Pritts under the survival act.

[ 414 Pa. Page 311]

The cases were consolidated for trial and resulted in jury verdicts in favor of Pritts' administratrix in the amounts of $8,518.54 in the wrongful death action, and $22,481.46 in the survival action, for a total of $31,000.00. In the action by Wigle's executors against the administratrix of Pritts' Estate, the jury returned a verdict for the defendant.

Wigle's executors filed motions for judgment n.o.v. and new trial in the case in which they were defendants, and for new trial in the case in which they were plaintiffs. The court en banc, with one Judge dissenting, granted the motion for judgment n.o.v. in the Pritts v. Wigle case and the motion for new trial in the Wigle v. Pritts case, these appeals followed.

"In considering a motion for judgment n.o.v., the evidence together with all reasonable inferences therefrom, are considered in the light most favorable to the verdict winner. However, in considering the action of the lower court in granting or refusing a new trial, an appellate court will affirm, unless there has been a clear abuse of discretion, or an error of law which controlled the outcome of the case or the decision of the lower court". Chambers v. Montgomery, 411 Pa. 339, 192 A.2d 355 (1963), and cases cited therein.

Viewing the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom, in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, the facts may be summarized as follows: On October 2, 1958, at 5:30 P.M. at the crossroads of Route 711 and Rector-Darlington Road, an accident occurred involving automobiles driven by Pritts and Wigle. Pritts was traveling on the through Highway 711. Wigle was driving on Rector-Darlington Road, which is controlled by a stop sign fifty feet from the intersection. The accident occurred at right angles within the ...


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