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MARGARET NAPOLITAN v. MARY CATHERINE HAPPE AND ARMAND VENTURA (07/10/81)

filed: July 10, 1981.

MARGARET NAPOLITAN, APPELLANT,
v.
MARY CATHERINE HAPPE AND ARMAND VENTURA



No. 457 April Term, 1979, Appeal from the Judgment of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil Division, No. G.D. 75-8529.

COUNSEL

Sidney Baker, Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Richard D. Klaber, Pittsburgh, for appellees.

Price, Cavanaugh and Watkins, JJ. Watkins, J., dissents.

Author: Price

[ 288 Pa. Super. Page 469]

This is an appeal from a judgment entered upon a jury verdict in favor of appellees. The incident upon which appellant's cause of action was based occurred on February 14, 1974. Appellant, a pedestrian, was crossing a three-lane highway, South Braddock Avenue, when she was struck by a vehicle operated by appellee, Mary Catherine Happe. Appellee Happe was making a left turn from Woodstock Avenue in order to travel south on South Braddock Avenue. We need not further detail these facts for they are not crucial to our determination of this appeal. We conclude that the trial court committed error in permitting a police

[ 288 Pa. Super. Page 470]

    officer to testify that appellee did not receive a traffic citation for her conduct and, therefore, we reverse and grant a new trial.

There can be no doubt that evidence concerning the issuance of, or failure to issue, a traffic citation is generally not admissible. Cusatis v. Reichert, 267 Pa. Super. 247, 406 A.2d 787 (1979); Shepard v. Martin Century Farms, 245 Pa. Super. 552, 369 A.2d 765 (1977); Simpson v. Robinson, 238 Pa. Super. 555, 361 A.2d 387 (1976).

The trial judge, affirmed by a court en banc decision, found that appellant had raised an inference that a citation had been issued when, on direct examination, a police officer stated that appellee had been taken to the station. We disagree, for our examination of the record leads to the opposite conclusion.

The police officer, after establishing the location of appellant in the street when he arrived at the scene, was then questioned on direct examination as follows:

Q. How did you route the traffic around the pedestrian?

A. Get her car moved to the side and then more or less get the two lane traffic coming up going up and we waited for the ambulance and being that the ambulance picked the woman up and then I think the other officer got the ...


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