No. 1529 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Northumberland County, at No. 64, October Term, 1976.
Before Price, Spaeth and Watkins, JJ. Spaeth, J. files a dissenting statement
DECISION OF LOWER COURT AFFIRMED BASED ON THE ABLE OPINION OF Judge Woodring.
Spaeth, J. files a dissenting statement
IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY CIVIL DIVISION - LAW
STEPHANIE SPLAWSKI (RUSSO), Plaintiff Vs. MICHELLE L. SNYDER and SHANNETTE L. SNYDER, IN TRESPASS.
No. 64 October Term, 1976
Opinion OF THE COURT EN BANC
This Northampton case was tried by a jury before the Honorable Carleton T. Woodring on October 12, 1977. At the close of the Plaintiff's case, the Court granted a defense motion for a compulsory non-suit. The matter is now before us on Plaintiff's motion to remove the non-suit.
The facts as elicited at the trial are as follows:
At 2:40 A.M. on January 31, 1976, the Plaintiff, Stephanie Splawski, was a passenger in an automobile operated by the defendant, Michelle J. Snyder, which automobile was owned by Michelle's mother, Defendant, Shannette Snyder. Michelle and Stephanie, both teenagers at the time, were returning from a social outing in New Jersey. As the vehicle negotiated a bend in the road, it hit a patch of ice, skidded off the road, and struck a telephone pole before coming to rest in the opposite lane. The Plaintiff was badly injured, and initiated this action in Trespass to recover for her damages.
In ruling on the motion for a non-suit, the Court stated that "the Plaintiff's case fails to establish any negligence on the part of the Defendant..." (N.T. 88). This ruling is well-founded, based upon Plaintiff's own testimony at the trial. On cross-examination, the Plaintiff testified as follows:
BY MR. HAHALIS - Q. Stephanie, taking you back again to the night of this accident, I just want to be sure that I understood ...