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STANO v. REARICK ET AL. (11/12/70)

decided: November 12, 1970.

STANO
v.
REARICK ET AL., APPELLANTS



Appeal from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Armstrong County, Sept. T., 1968, No. 321, and March T., 1969, No. 269, in cases of Sherry Lee Stano v. W. W. Rearick et al. and James A. Rosenberger, and James A. Rosenberger v. Donald H. Kirkman and W. W. Rearick et al.

COUNSEL

Harry A. Heilman, Jr., with him Joseph A. Nickleach, for appellant.

Richard S. Graff, with him Callas and Graff, for appellee.

Jerome D. Lombardi, for appellee.

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

Author: Jones

[ 441 Pa. Page 74]

The facts in this case are largely undisputed. On January 21, 1967, at approximately 8:30 p.m., an automobile

[ 441 Pa. Page 75]

    owned and operated by appellee Rosenberger, in which appellee Stano was a passenger, collided with the rear end of a tractor-trailer owned by appellant, W. W. Rearick, t/d/b/a W. W. Rearick Coal and General Hauling (hereinafter "Rearick"), and operated by appellant Kirkman. The tractor-trailer was stopped at a T-intersection preparatory to making a turn when the rear-end collision occurred. While Kirkland was uninjured, both Rosenberger and Stano sustained personal injuries; in addition, Rosenberger and Rearick sustained property damage.

Appellee Stano filed a complaint in trespass in the Court of Common Pleas of Armstrong County against both Rearick and Rosenberger. Thereafter, Rosenberger filed his suit against Kirkman and Rearick.*fn1 In this latter suit Kirkman and Rearick answered and counterclaimed. The cases were consolidated for trial. Summarizing the jury's verdicts in these various claims and counterclaims, the jury found in favor of both appellees Stano and Rosenberger against Rearick while absolving appellee Rosenberger of all liability. Motions for a new trial*fn2 were subsequently denied and judgments were entered upon the verdicts. This appeal followed.

The precise question on this appeal concerns the application of the "assured clear distance ahead rule." Our most recent pronouncement on this doctrine was in McElhinny v. Iliff, 436 Pa. 506, 509-10, 260 A.2d 739, 740 (1970):

"The 'assured clear distance ahead rule' finds its statutory genesis in The ...


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