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GILMORE v. MARSH (03/14/67)

decided: March 14, 1967.

GILMORE, APPELLANT,
v.
MARSH



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, No. 63-12555, in case of Douglas Gilmore v. David R. Marsh.

COUNSEL

Albert M. Hankin, with him Meyer, Lasch, Hankin & Poul, for appellant.

Gilbert P. High, with him High, Swartz, Roberts & Seidel, for appellee.

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

Author: Eagen

[ 424 Pa. Page 362]

Douglas Gilmore suffered serious injuries when a motorcycle he was operating collided with an automobile operated by David R. Marsh. This action by Gilmore for damages followed, and at trial the jury returned a verdict for Marsh. Gilmore appeals from the judgment entered on the verdict.

The collision occurred on a four-lane highway in front of a shopping center. Each lane was approximately eleven feet wide. Two lanes were for traffic traveling east and two for traffic traveling west. The east and west traffic lanes were completely separated

[ 424 Pa. Page 363]

    by a medial strip which was generally about eighteen feet wide. However, in front of the shopping center, there were three separate breaks in the strip to permit traffic traveling east, or on the side of the highway opposite the shopping center, to make a left turn and enter the center. At these points the dividing strip narrowed, and an extra lane existed for a short distance on that side of the highway from which traffic turning left into the center was required to negotiate the turn. Opposite each of these breaks in the strip was an entrance from the highway to the parking area on the shopping center's grounds.

Immediately before the collision the Marsh automobile which was traveling east on the highway, turned left and proceeded through one of the breaks in the dividing strip towards the entrance to the shopping center's parking area. While traveling across the lane abutting and nearest the center's entrance, it was hit at the rear fender by Gilmore's motorcycle which was traveling west.

The trial testimony was in sharp conflict as to important facts surrounding the occurrence. It need not be detailed here. It is sufficient to note, that under the evidence the jury could properly conclude that the negligence of either Marsh or Gilmore, or of both, caused the accident.

In his charge to the jury the trial court, inter alia, read certain sections of The Vehicle Code, Act of 1959, P. L. 58, as amended, 75 P.S. ยง 102, defining a highway intersection, and the rights and duties of motorists entering and proceeding through such intersections. He stated that it was not crystal clear whether the accident scene was within the term "intersection" as defined and contemplated by the code, so he would leave that question to the jury to ...


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