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BENNIE RUTH PLATTS ET AL. v. JOANNE DRISCOLL AND JAMES DRISCOLL V. BENNIE RUTH PLATTS (11/22/76)

decided: November 22, 1976.

BENNIE RUTH PLATTS ET AL., APPELLANTS,
v.
JOANNE DRISCOLL AND JAMES DRISCOLL V. BENNIE RUTH PLATTS



Appeal from the Judgment entered April 28, 1976, by the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Action, Law, of Montgomery County, at No. 71-13930. No. 1731 October Term, 1976.

COUNSEL

Allen L. Feingold, Philadelphia, for appellants.

Joseph P. Phelps, Jr., Norristown, for appellees.

Watkins, President Judge, and Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort and Spaeth, JJ. Price, J., concurs in the result. Spaeth, J., dissents.

Author: Jacobs

[ 245 Pa. Super. Page 236]

This is an appeal from the denial of appellants' motions for a new trial and for judgment n. o. v. following a jury verdict in favor of appellee Joanne Driscoll and Bennie Ruth Platts, additional defendant. The action arose from a right-angle collision involving a station wagon driven by Mrs. Platts, in which appellant Yvonne

[ 245 Pa. Super. Page 237]

Platts was a passenger, and a compact-sized automobile operated by Miss Driscoll. For the reasons hereinafter set forth, we affirm the judgment of the court below.

The collision occurred on October 23, 1971, between 7:00 p. m. and 7:30 p. m., at the intersection of Goddard Boulevard and Wills Boulevard in King of Prussia. At this intersection Goddard Boulevard is a four-lane highway, with a fourteen foot wide grass medial strip dividing the two northbound and two southbound lanes. Wills Boulevard has one eastbound and one westbound lane. The only traffic control at this intersection was a stop sign for vehicles traveling eastbound on Wills Boulevard. Mrs. Platts testified that she exited from the parking lot of the King of Prussia Shopping Plaza onto the eastbound portion of Wills Boulevard, stopped at the stop sign, and seeing no cars approaching, proceeded across the first southbound lane of Goddard Boulevard. Miss Driscoll was traveling at approximately 30 miles per hour*fn1 in the left northbound lane of Goddard Boulevard, with her sister a passenger in the front seat. Mrs. Platts further testified that she observed Miss Driscoll's vehicle when it was about three car lengths from the intersection and that Mrs. Platts applied her brakes, stopping along the medial strip with about two feet of the front of her vehicle extending into the left northbound lane of Goddard Boulevard. Miss Driscoll testified that she did not see the Platts' vehicle or its lights until she was only two car lengths from the intersection.*fn2 Each driver contended that the other party struck her car.*fn3

[ 245 Pa. Super. Page 238]

Mrs. Platts and Yvonne Platts asserted bodily injury claims against the Driscolls,*fn4 and Mr. Platts asserted a property damage claim as well as a claim for medical expenses and loss of consortium. Mrs. Platts was joined by the Driscolls as an additional defendant, and the Driscolls also counterclaimed against her for the property damage to the Driscoll vehicle. After a jury trial, verdicts were returned in favor of Joanne Driscoll, defendant, and Mrs. Platts, additional defendant. Appellants' motions for a new trial and for judgment n. o. v. were denied by the court en banc on April 6, 1976 and this appeal followed.

Appellants' first contention is that the jury verdict in favor of appellee, Joanne Driscoll, was improper. They assert that "appellee was negligent because she violated the duty owed by an operator on a through highway to approaching vehicles from a stop street." Appellant's Brief at 6. While Section 1014(c) of the Motor Vehicle Code*fn5 does give the right-of-way to a vehicle proceeding on a through highway, it further provides that this "shall not operate to relieve the driver of any vehicle being operated on a through highway from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of vehicles entering such through highway, nor shall it protect the driver of any vehicle on a through highway from the consequence of an arbitrary exercise of such right of way." Our courts have recognized that the right-of-way on a ...


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