Pavela v. Tryloff
|02 June 1930
|PAVELA v. TRYLOFF.
|Michigan Supreme Court
OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE
Error to Circuit Court, Macomb County. Neil E. Reid, Judge.
Action by Emma Pavela, by next friend, Michael Pavela, against Henry W. Tryloff. There was a judgment for defendant notwithstanding the verdict, and plaintiff brings error.
Reversed and remanded for entry of judgment on the verdict.
Argued before the Entire Bench.
Wood & Rathbun, of Tecumseh, for appellant.
Bert V. Nunneley, Douglas W. Ball, and John H. Nunneley, all of Mt. Clemens, for appellee.
This is an action to recover damages for personal injuries received in an automobile collision on a public highway in the county of Lenawee, Mich. On the trial at the close of the proofs, there was a motion for a directed verdict in favor of the defendant. Ruling thereon was reserved by the court and the issue submitted to the jury. The plaintiff received a verdict for $800. On motion, judgment was entered for the defendant notwithstanding the verdict. The plaintiff has brought error.
At the time of the accident, Emma Pavela was two years of age. She was riding in an automobile driven by Michael Pavela, her father, in an easterly direction on U. S. 112, the main highway between Detroit and Chicago. The defendant was coming from the opposite direction in a borrowed Cadillac car driven by his son who was under fourteen years of age. The collision occurred when Mr. Pavela, the driver of the car in which plaintiff was riding, turned to the left side of the road to enter a farm driveway. Both parties had a clear and unobstructed view of the traffic on the highway at that point. When about to make the turn, Pavela slowed down his car, gave a signal with his hand, and proceeded across the road. He was nearly over the pavement when defendant's car crashed into him. Both the defendant and his boy saw the Pavela car turn. The plaintiff claims that they were then from 300 to 400 feet away, and driving at a speed of 60 or 65 miles an hour. The boy steered his car to the right. The defendant grabbed the wheel and turned it to the left, and, driving in that position, their car zigzagged along the road until it collided with the rear end of the other car.
 It was conceded by both parties that, because of the plaintiff's age, she could not be held guilty of contributory negligence, and that the negligence of the father could not be charged against her. The only question involved in the case was whether the defendant was guilty of any negligence which was the proximate cause of the injury. This question was submitted to the jury in a proper charge and by them decided adversely to the defendant. So the only issue which we have to determine is whether there was evidence to take that question to the jury. And, in view of the court's action in entering judgment for the defendant notwithstanding the verdict, we must consider the evidence most favorable to the plaintiff.
 It must be conceded that the defendant was driving the car at the time of the accident. At least he had hold of the wheel and guided it in the direction which brought it in contact with the other car. The plaintiff's evidence is that he was 300 or 400 feet away when the Pavela car started to make the turn and could have stopped his car in a distance of 200 feet, that he did not try to stop it, and did not slacken its speed. There is also evidence that there was a wide, clear space back of the Pavela car at the point of the accident which afforded ample room for defendant to pass to the left and thus avoid the accident. Mr. Jacob Meinsinger, a carburetor engineer of the city of Detroit, was a witness for the plaintiff. He was driving behind Pavela when he undertook to make the turn across the road. When Pavela slowed down, he passed him and met the defendant's car. He testified:
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Alley v. Klotz
...and also a failure on his part to drive in such a manner that he could stop within the assured clear distance ahead. Pavela v. Tryloff, 251 Mich. 110, 230 N.W. 912;Pearce v. Rodell, 283 Mich. 19, 276 N.W. 883;White v. Vandevelde, 284 Mich. 669, 279 N.W. 899. This brings us to a consideratio......
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