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JOHN R. BUMBARGER v. FRED G. KAMINSKY AND CALVIN T. OAKS (03/11/83)

filed: March 11, 1983.

JOHN R. BUMBARGER,
v.
FRED G. KAMINSKY AND CALVIN T. OAKS, JR., APPELLANTS



No. 784 Philadelphia, 1981, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bedford County, Civil, Trespass, No. 111, January Term of 1976.

COUNSEL

Clyde O. Black, II, Hollidaysburg, for appellants.

R. Martin Reiley, Bedford, for appellee.

Hester, McEwen and Cirillo, JJ.

Author: Mcewen

[ 311 Pa. Super. Page 178]

We here consider an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bedford County which granted the motion of plaintiff for a new trial after the jury returned a verdict

[ 311 Pa. Super. Page 179]

    for the defendants. We reverse that order and remand so that the Common Pleas Court may reinstate the jury verdict in favor of the defendants.

Plaintiff-appellee Bumbarger filed a complaint in trespass to recover for personal injuries allegedly sustained as the result of a collision between a pick-up truck driven by the plaintiff and a truck driven by defendant-appellant Kaminsky at the intersection of State Highway 31 and Center Street in Manns Choice Borough. On the morning of the accident, the appellant-driver was making deliveries of poultry products for his employer, defendant-appellant Oaks. One of the delivery stops was a bar located at the top of Center Street, a steep ice-covered hill. After the delivery, as appellant proceeded down Center Street, his truck began to slide on the ice. Appellee was traveling on Route 31 at an approximate speed of 30 to 40 m.p.h. in the lane closest to the Center Street hill. As appellee approached the intersection, he saw that the wheels on the truck driven by appellant were locked and that the appellant would not be able to stop at the stop sign. As a result, appellee attempted to slow down by pumping his brakes and also directed his truck to the left lane of the two lane highway so as to avoid the truck driven by appellant which was approaching appellee on the right side.

When appellant attempted to halt his vehicle in compliance with the approaching stop sign, he realized that he was unable to do so because of the ice, and as a result, he abandoned that effort and accelerated his vehicle in an attempt to get across Route 31 and completely pass through the path of appellant. Despite the attempts by the two drivers to avoid contact, the vehicles collided.

Following the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned the following verdict:

AND NOW, May 16, 1979, we, the Jurors empaneled in the above entitled case, find for the defense. We have ruled the accident unavoidable, by a vote of ...


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