Appeal, No. 15, March T., 1964, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, May T., 1960, No. 10, in case of Kate Hopton v. The Borough of Donora. Judgment affirmed.
Francis H. Patrono, with him Patrono & Edwards, for appellant.
Paul N. Barna, with him Paul N. Barna, Jr., and Barna and Barna, for appellee.
Before Bell, C.j., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'brien and Roberts, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO
On October 29, 1959, Mrs. Kate Hopton, 72 years of age, decided she would like to view the Halloween parade scheduled to gaily cavort through the streets of Donora that evening. She chose the apartment of her sister-in-law, Mrs. Morton, several blocks away, as the best place from which to witness the masquerading revelers in their merry procession. On her way to the
Morton house, as she walked eastwardly on Fourth Street, she encountered many of the costumed paraders milling about in preparation for the strutting event.
Civilian crowds had also gathered, making foot traffic difficult for the 72-year old Mrs. Hopton. As she continued to push forward along Fourth Street she came to a lane known as Linden Way which cut through the long block between the East-West Fourth and Fifth Streets and, by good fortune, conducted directly to the rear door of Mrs. Morton's apartment, thus providing a passage which would protect Mrs. Hopton from the jostling throngs. In addition, the Linden Way passage would save Mrs. Hopton the long walk eastwardly along Fourth Street, the northward trek up McKean Avenue, and then the retracing westward trip on Fifth Street to the northeast end of Linden Way, at which point her sister-in-law lived. By moving through Linden Way, Mrs. Hopton accomplished more than proceeding along the hypotenuse of a right angle, she moved with bow-and-arrow directness to her target. It was like going through the Panama Canal instead of sailing around Cape Horn in order to reach the Pacific.
Thus, Mrs. Hopton entered Linden Way, a good 20-foot-wide thoroughfare which, although not provided with sidewalks, accommodated vehicular and pedestrian traffic. As she advanced toward Mrs. Morton's home, an automobile approached from the north into Linden Way. Its headlights blinded her just as she was approaching a spot which, it developed later, was depressed to a depth of some four inches in an 18-inch sunken diameter. She fell into the hole, fracturing her hip which necessitated two surgical operations.
In her lawsuit against the Borough of Donora for negligently maintaining Linden Way, she ...