Nixon v. Pfahler

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtWALLING, J.
Citation124 A. 130
PartiesNIXON et ux. v. PFAHLER.
Decision Date11 February 1924
124 A. 130

NIXON et ux.
v.
PFAHLER.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Feb. 11, 1924.


Appeal from Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County; John Marshall Gest, Judge.

Action by John A. Nixon and wife against George E. Pfahler. From an order refusing to take off a compulsory nonsuit, plaintiffs appeal. Affirmed.

Argued before MOSCHZISKER, C. J., and FRAZER, WALLING, KEPHART, and SADLER, JJ.

Geo. J. Edwards, Jr., and Hiram B. Calkins, both of Philadelphia, for appellants.

Ralph B. Evans and William G. Wright, both of Philadelphia, for appellee.

WALLING, J. These appeals by plaintiffs are from the trial court's refusal to take off a compulsory nonsuit in an action by husband and wife for personal injuries to the latter. The defendant, Dr. George E. Pfahler, has offices in Philadelphia where he and his assistants are engaged inter alia, in taking and developing X-ray photographs. The wife, plaintiff, Mrs. Sarah F. Nixon, while having X-ray photographs taken of her teeth in defendant's offices on March 2, 1920, was injured by an electric spark which struck her right knee and passed down and out at her foot. Plaintiffs' statement in general terms charged negligent construction, operation, etc., of the apparatus by which the photographs were taken. At the trial no evidence of negligence was offered, plaintiffs resting their case solely on proof of the accident. They did, however, call the defendant, as for cross-examination, and his uncontradicted testimony was, in effect, that his offices were equipped in every respect with the best obtainable appliances and were at the time in charge of an experienced and skillful operator. The X-ray exposure necessitates the passage of an electric current of small volume but very high voltage through a wire suspended about two feet above where the patient reclines. The defendant's testimony was that this current would not jump more than approximately five inches, while Mrs. Nixon testified she did not raise her leg or otherwise come near the wire. Dr. Pfahler testified that some 10,000 photographs had been taken by the same apparatus without injury, and that he had never known of a like accident except in one instance, where a patient brought his hand close to the wire.

What caused the electric current, in the instant case, to leap from the wire through the air to the plaintiff's leg, as it seems to have done, is unknown. There was no evidence that such an accident could have been anticipated, or that it...

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21 practice notes
  • Whitmore v. Herrick, No. 38636.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 6, 1928
    ...W. 397, 13 A. L. R. 1403;Vale v. Noe, 172 Wis. 421, 179 N. W. 572;Streett v. Hodgson, 139 Md. 137, 115 A. 27;Nixon v. Pfahler, 279 Pa. 377, 124 A. 130;Hamilton v. Harris (Tex. Civ. App.) 204 S. W. 450;Ewing v. Goode (C. C. A.) 78 F. 442;Tady v. Warta, 111 Neb. 521, 196 N. W. 901;Stemons v. ......
  • Whitmore v. Herrick, 38636
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 6, 1928
    ...481 (228 S.W. 397); Vale v. Noe, 172 Wis. 421 (179 N.W. 572); Streett v. Hodgson, 139 Md. 137 (115 A. 27); Nixon v. Pfahler, 279 Pa. 377 (124 A. 130); Hamilton v. Harris (Tex. Civ. App.), 204 S.W. 450; Ewing v. Goode, 78 F. 442; Tady v. Warta, 111 Neb. 521 (196 N.W. 901); Stemons v. Turner,......
  • Baxter v. Snow, 5011
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • July 31, 1931
    ...v. Scott, 58 Mont. 645, 194 P. 488, 12 A. L. R. 1487; [2 P.2d 266] Sheldon v. Wright, 80 Vt. 298, 67 A. 807; Nixon v. Pfahler, 279 Pa. 377, 124 A. 130; Wurdemann v. Barnes, 92 Wis. 206, 66 N.W. 111. As already shown, the plaintiff did not adduce any such character of evidence. He contented ......
  • McSparran v. Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Civ. A. No. 31743.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • August 5, 1966
    ...pointed out that the "accident" here referred to is the "accident" of having a car run away. 12 The case of Nixon v. Pfahler, 279 Pa. 377, 124 A. 130 (1924), however, indicates the attitude taken by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania when faced with a somewhat similar problem. In Nixon v. Pf......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • Whitmore v. Herrick, No. 38636.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 6, 1928
    ...W. 397, 13 A. L. R. 1403;Vale v. Noe, 172 Wis. 421, 179 N. W. 572;Streett v. Hodgson, 139 Md. 137, 115 A. 27;Nixon v. Pfahler, 279 Pa. 377, 124 A. 130;Hamilton v. Harris (Tex. Civ. App.) 204 S. W. 450;Ewing v. Goode (C. C. A.) 78 F. 442;Tady v. Warta, 111 Neb. 521, 196 N. W. 901;Stemons v. ......
  • Whitmore v. Herrick, 38636
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • March 6, 1928
    ...481 (228 S.W. 397); Vale v. Noe, 172 Wis. 421 (179 N.W. 572); Streett v. Hodgson, 139 Md. 137 (115 A. 27); Nixon v. Pfahler, 279 Pa. 377 (124 A. 130); Hamilton v. Harris (Tex. Civ. App.), 204 S.W. 450; Ewing v. Goode, 78 F. 442; Tady v. Warta, 111 Neb. 521 (196 N.W. 901); Stemons v. Turner,......
  • Baxter v. Snow, 5011
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • July 31, 1931
    ...v. Scott, 58 Mont. 645, 194 P. 488, 12 A. L. R. 1487; [2 P.2d 266] Sheldon v. Wright, 80 Vt. 298, 67 A. 807; Nixon v. Pfahler, 279 Pa. 377, 124 A. 130; Wurdemann v. Barnes, 92 Wis. 206, 66 N.W. 111. As already shown, the plaintiff did not adduce any such character of evidence. He contented ......
  • McSparran v. Pennsylvania Railroad Company, Civ. A. No. 31743.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
    • August 5, 1966
    ...pointed out that the "accident" here referred to is the "accident" of having a car run away. 12 The case of Nixon v. Pfahler, 279 Pa. 377, 124 A. 130 (1924), however, indicates the attitude taken by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania when faced with a somewhat similar problem. In Nixon v. Pf......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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