Nos. 555, 579 April Term, 1978, Appeal from the Order dated December 21, 1977, of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania at Arbitration Docket No. 4955 of 1976, Civil Division.
John W. Gibson, in pro. per., for appellant at No. 555.
Janice S. Gibson, in pro. per., for appellant at No. 579.
Fred W. Dunton, Pittsburgh, for appellees Erwin Seigel and Giant Eagle Markets.
Maury D. Nusbaum, Pittsburgh, for appellee Ronald Miller.
Price, Hester and Watkins, JJ.
[ 265 Pa. Super. Page 598]
These cross-appeals arise from a multiple car, "chain-reaction" collision on the Parkway West in Pittsburgh on September
[ 265 Pa. Super. Page 59918]
, 1975. At approximately 7:30 a. m. that day, John Gibson, with his wife Janice as a passenger, (John and Janice Gibson are the respective appellants in the two appeals before us) was driving his wife's car in the outbound portion of the Parkway, near the Carnegie exit. The vehicle directly in front of him, later identified as a Chevy Impala belonging to one Collonn, suddenly skidded and came to rest blocking both lanes of traffic. Gibson, driving in the left lane, was able to stop his car in time before striking the Impala but was almost immediately rearended by a Ford pickup truck driven by appellee Ronald Miller. Miller, also driving in the left lane, had seen the stopped vehicles in front of him and was attempting to decelerate and go around the accident when he too was rearended by a Ford Torino driven by appellee Erwin Seigel, acting in the scope of his employment with appellee Giant Eagle Markets, Inc. The Miller truck, propelled by the force of the Seigel vehicle, glanced off the right rear portion of the Gibson's car and came to a rest beside it in the right lane. At least one other car behind Seigel was also involved in the pile-up but did not participate in the proceedings below. The day was wet with lightly falling rain. There were no injuries.
Suit was instituted in arbitration by Janice Gibson against Miller, Seigel, and Giant Eagle. Miller answered, denying liability, and joined John Gibson as an additional defendant. In addition, Miller brought a cross claim against Seigel, Giant Eagle, and John Gibson. The arbitrators' award for both plaintiffs was appealed and the court heard both cases de novo, non-jury, on October 5, 1977. Its decision, reached the following day, found for all defendants against plaintiffs in both cases. The decision was duly filed and notices sent by the prothonotary to the parties on October 20, 1977. On November 9, 1977, appellant John Gibson filed exceptions alleging error in various evidentiary rulings by the court and averring that the decision was against the weight of the evidence. On the motion of Seigel and Giant Eagle, the court en banc dismissed the exceptions because they were not filed within the time required under Pa.R.Civ.P. 1038(d).
[ 265 Pa. Super. Page 600]
John Gibson then brought this appeal to our Court at No. 555, April Term, 1978.*fn1 His wife Janice thereafter brought a cross-appeal, Pa.R.App.P. 903(b), at No. 579, April Term, 1978. As to the appeal of John Gibson, we ...