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VIGNOLI v. STANDARD MOTOR FREIGHT (05/25/65)

decided: May 25, 1965.

VIGNOLI, APPELLANT,
v.
STANDARD MOTOR FREIGHT, INC.



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, July T., 1959, No. 1854, in case of Samuel Vignoli v. Standard Motor Freight, Inc.

COUNSEL

Paul A. Simmons, with him Tempest & Simmons, for appellant.

Joseph F. Weis, Jr., with him Weis & Weis, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice O'Brien.

Author: O'brien

[ 418 Pa. Page 215]

On May 17, 1957, appellant sustained personal injuries and property damage as the result of a collision between a tractor-trailer owned and operated by him

[ 418 Pa. Page 216]

    and similar equipment owned by appellee and being operated by its employee, James Crise. An action of trespass was instituted by appellant and culminated in a jury verdict for appellee. Appellant's motion for new trial was denied and judgment was entered on the verdict of the jury; this appeal followed.

The opposing positions of the parties, as to the circumstances of the accident, and the allegations of error which were presented below, as well as here, are well summarized by the court below, as follows: "The plaintiff, Samuel Vignoli, a lifetime resident of Monongahela, Washington County, Pennsylvania, was operating his tractor-trailer in an easterly direction on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the early morning of May 17th, 1957. At a point on said Turnpike, approximately six (6) miles west of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the front portion of the plaintiff's tractor came into contact with the rear portion of the trailer owned by the defendant and operated by one, James Crise, an employee of the said defendant.

"The plaintiff charged the defendant with the negligent operation of its tractor trailer in that it was caused to swerve off of the highway in front of the plaintiff, to proceed on the berm for a short distance, and then, without warning, to pull back onto the paved portion of the Turnpike directly into the path of the plaintiff, thus causing the accident and damages complained of. Plaintiff contended there were no lights on the rear of defendant's trailer immediately prior to the accident. Plaintiff further alleged that the defendant's driver was under the influence of alcohol which resulted in the negligent manner in which his tractor trailer was operated.

"The defendant contended that its truck was proceeding on the Turnpike at a lawful rate of speed in a lawful manner, proceeding in the right-hand, or slow lane, when it was struck on the left rear corner by the right-front portion of plaintiff's tractor.

[ 418 Pa. Page 217]

"The allegations of plaintiff were substantiated by the testimony of William Zewe who was driving behind the ...


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