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GREENBAUM v. UNITED STATES

September 25, 1973

Morey GREENBAUM
v.
UNITED STATES of America


Huyett, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HUYETT

HUYETT, District Judge.

 Plaintiff, Morey Greenbaum, filed this action against defendant, United States of America, for damages arising out of a fall in the parking lot of the United States Post Office at 9405 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 1, 1968. Suit is brought pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq., *fn1" and this court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1346. A non-jury trial was held for two days beginning March 8, 1973, at which time the parties presented testimony. We now make our findings of fact and conclusions of law required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 52 in rendering our decision.

 Facts

 1. The accident to plaintiff, Morey Greenbaum, occurred on March 1, 1968.

 2. Plaintiff was then 46 years of age, and was employed as a letter carrier by the United States Post Office at its Bustleton Station located at 9405 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia.

 3. Plaintiff was not on duty on March 1, 1968, but had gone to the Bustleton Station primarily to pick up his paycheck. He also intended to purchase some postage stamps while he was there.

 4. It was customary for employees to pick up their paychecks if their day off fell on a payday, but this was not required by the Post Office which would hold the checks until whenever the employee came for them.

 5. It was snowing lightly on the morning of March 1, 1968 and the driveway, parking lot and maneuvering areas of the Bustleton Station were covered in most places with approximately one inch of snow, although spots had been cleared by the wind or by travelling vehicles.

 6. Plaintiff parked his car in the lot behind the post office building along the south fence.

 7. The lot was intended for the use of postal vehicles, employee parking during working hours and vehicles of companies which made large deliveries to or pick-ups from the post office. It was not intended for use of individual patrons of the post office. While such persons sometimes did use the lot, they were never invited or encouraged to do so and in fact were often chased by employees.

 8. The driveway and parking lot were in very poor condition with many potholes in the area, including a very large one near the ramp which led from the driveway onto the loading platform. Gravel from the potholes was scattered in the area around the potholes.

 9. Plaintiff had worked at the Bustleton Station at 9405 Bustleton Avenue since it first opened at that location in May, 1965.

 10. Plaintiff was very familiar with the condition of the driveway and the parking lot which had been in the same condition for many months and which he used every work day.

 11. The superintendent had complained to the Postmaster for Philadelphia about the condition on several occasions.

 12. The lease between the Government and the lessors, James and Robert Weinberg, contained terms whereby lessors covenanted to maintain the demised premises in good repair and tenantable condition. (Lease provision #7) (Defendant's exhibit #9).

 13. The Government had contacted the lessors' agent, Charles Kahn, Jr., and the lessors, James and Robert Weinberg, concerning repairs to the property on several occasions in the latter half of 1967.

 14. On August 8, 1967, Anthony Lambert, Postmaster, Philadelphia, wrote a letter to Charles Kahn, Jr., Kahn & Co., Realtors, who was the managing agent of the premises, wherein Mr. Lambert notified Mr. Kahn of the need of repairs at the Bustleton Office including the existence of several potholes ...


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