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RIDLEY v. BOYER (ET AL. (06/29/67)

decided: June 29, 1967.

RIDLEY
v.
BOYER (ET AL., APPELLANT)



Appeals from judgments of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, June T., 1964, No. 730, and Sept. T., 1965, Nos. 906 and 2259, in cases of Margaret Ridley v. Earl H. Boyer and Gensimore Trucking, Inc.; Earl H. Boyer v. Theodore L. Carlson and Gensimore Trucking, Inc.; and Betty K. Smith v. Earl H. Boyer and Gensimore Trucking, Inc.

COUNSEL

W. E. Shissler, with him David C. Eaton, and Nauman, Smith, Shissler & Hall, for appellants.

James B. Pannebaker, for appellee.

Leslie B. Handler, with him Walter F. Miller, and Handler and Handler, for appellee.

Clyde W. McIntyre, with him Hurwitz, Klein, Benjamin & Brown, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Musmanno, Jones, Eagen, O'Brien and Roberts, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Musmanno. Mr. Chief Justice Bell, Mr. Justice O'Brien and Mr. Justice Roberts concur in the result. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Musmanno

[ 426 Pa. Page 29]

On December 23, 1963, a collision at a street intersection occurred between a tractor-trailer owned by

[ 426 Pa. Page 30]

Gensimore Trucking, Inc., and operated by Theodore L. Carlson, and a 1954 Ford Sedan owned and operated by Earl H. Boyer. In the Boyer car rode, as passengers, Margaret Ridley and Betty K. Smith. A melee of lawsuits followed. Boyer sued Carlson and Gensimore for personal injuries and automobile damage, Margaret Ridley sued Boyer and Gensimore for personal injuries; Betty K. Smith followed suit, and the judge consolidated all the cases for trial.

There were the usual conflicts in the testimony at the trial, each involved person putting forth his best foot, and each driver his best wheel to show that he or she was not at fault and the opposing party was reckless, careless, and in defiance of the law, therein controlling. It is in just such a situation that the centuries-blessed institution of the jury sweeps away the chaff and gets to the kernel or kernels of the issues and reaches a conclusion which, in the vast and overwhelming percentage of the cases coincides with common sense, fundamental justice, and established law. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Boyer against Carlson and Gensimore in the sum of $6,000; in favor of Margaret Ridley against Gensimore Trucking alone, in the amount of $35,000; and in favor of Betty Smith against Gensimore alone in the sum of $2,000.

A melee of motions followed. Carlson and Gensimore asked for judgment n.o.v. or a new trial in Boyer's action against them. Gensimore asked for a new trial in the actions of Margaret Ridley and Betty K. Smith against it. The trial court made short shift of the motions by denying them all, properly we believe. The losers are on appeal here.

Carlson and Gensimore contend the court erred in refusing to enter judgment n.o.v. in Boyer's action against them because "the evidence at trial established affirmatively that Boyer, after entering in the ...


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