Smith v. Wistar

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtBARNES, Justice.
Citation194 A. 486,327 Pa. 419
Decision Date08 October 1937
PartiesSMITH v. WISTAR.
194 A. 486
327 Pa. 419

SMITH
v.
WISTAR.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Oct. 8, 1937.


Appeal No. 140, January term, 1937, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 3, Philadelphia County, No. 6689, June term, 1935; James M. Barnett, President Judge, Specially Presiding.

Trespass for personal injuries by Mary Smith against Daniel Wistar. Judgment on verdict for plaintiff for $6,577, and defendant appeals.

Affirmed.

Argued before KEPHART, C. J., and MAXEY, DREW, LINN, STERN, and BARNES, JJ.

John J. McDevitt, Jr., Joseph M. Leib, and John J. McDevitt, III, all of Philadelphia, for appellant. Robert F. Irwin, Jr., George M. Kevlin, and Donahue, Irwin, Merritt & Gest, all of Philadelphia, for appellee.

BARNES, Justice.

On the evening of February 7, 1935, the plaintiff, while crossing Germantowri avenue from the east to the west side, at its intersection with Slocum street and Pelham road, was struck by a Ford roadster operated by the defendant. Germantown avenue is a main thoroughfare in the city of Philadelphia, with double trolley tracks thereon. Slocum street intersects Germantown avenue on its east side only. Immediately to the south of Slocum street is Pelham road, at right angles with Germantown avenue, on its west side.

194 A. 487

The plaintiff alighted from a northbound trolley car on Germantown avenue, and walked to the southeast corner of Germantown avenue and Slocum street. She stood upon the pavement until the trolley had passed on, when she was beckoned to proceed across the street by the driver of an automobile that had stopped immediately behind the trolley car. This she did, passing directly in front of the automobile. The plaintiff testified that she looked for approaching automobiles, both prior to committing herself to the crossing and when she was in the middle of the street, and that at neither time was there any in sight, except the one in the rear of the trolley car.

According to the evidence, when plaintiff had almost completed the crossing of Germantown avenue, which at this point is some 36 feet in width, she was struck by defendant's automobile as she was about to step upon the pavement on the west side of the street. The force of the impact was such that she sustained a fractured skull and other severe injuries which required her to remain in a hospital for six weeks.

The plaintiff's story is supported by the testimony of Marion Killeen, an eyewitness to the accident. This witness states that the plaintiff was struck when she was within a few feet of the west curb of Germantown avenue, and that defendant's automobile did not come to an immediate stop after striking her, but continued on approximately 85 to 100 feet; that after the accident the plaintiff was lying unconscious in the cartway of Germantown avenue at least 50 feet from the place where she was hit by the defendant's car. This testimony is corroborated by another witness for the plaintiff.

The defendant on the evening in question was...

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11 practice notes
  • Grimes v. Yellow Cab Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 23, 1942
    ...Pa. 538, 107 A. 317; Robb v. Quaker City Cab Co., 283 Pa. 454, 129 A. 331; Johnston v. Cheyney, 297 Pa. 199, 146 A. 551; Smith v. Wistar, 327 Pa. 419, 194 A. As to appellants Magan and the Fire Insurance Patrol, the court below thought there could be no recovery for the additional reason th......
  • Graham v. Check, No. 42 WAP 2019
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 22, 2020
    ...805 (1931) ; Johnston v. Cheyney , 297 Pa. 199, 146 A. 551 (1929) ; Gilles v. Leas , 282 Pa. 318, 127 A. 774 (1925) ).13 Smith v. Wistar , 327 Pa. 419, 194 A. 486, 487 (1937).14 Zernell v. Miley , 417 Pa. 17, 208 A.2d 264, 265-66 (1965).15 Graham , 2019 WL 1276313, at *3 (citing Forsythe v.......
  • Altsman v. Kelly
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • November 27, 1939
    ...Pa. 164, 170 A. 131; Goodall v. Hess, 315 Pa. 289, 172 A. 693; MacDougall v. American Ice Co., 317 Pa. 222, 176 A. 428; Smith v. Wistar, 327 Pa. 419, 194 A. 486; Smith v. Shatz, 331 Pa. 453, 200 A. While a pedestrian crossing an intersection with a green traffic light in his favor does not ......
  • Thompson v. Gorman
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 2, 1951
    ...has, under the law, the right of way at a crossing, Martino v. Adourian, 360 Pa. 580, [366 Pa. 248] 583, 63 A.2d 12; Smith v. Wistar, 327 Pa. 419, 422, 194 A. 486; Goodall v. Hess, 315 Pa. 289, 292, 172 A. 693, reason and logic must be combined with practical reality when interpreting what ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Grimes v. Yellow Cab Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • March 23, 1942
    ...Pa. 538, 107 A. 317; Robb v. Quaker City Cab Co., 283 Pa. 454, 129 A. 331; Johnston v. Cheyney, 297 Pa. 199, 146 A. 551; Smith v. Wistar, 327 Pa. 419, 194 A. As to appellants Magan and the Fire Insurance Patrol, the court below thought there could be no recovery for the additional reason th......
  • Graham v. Check, No. 42 WAP 2019
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 22, 2020
    ...805 (1931) ; Johnston v. Cheyney , 297 Pa. 199, 146 A. 551 (1929) ; Gilles v. Leas , 282 Pa. 318, 127 A. 774 (1925) ).13 Smith v. Wistar , 327 Pa. 419, 194 A. 486, 487 (1937).14 Zernell v. Miley , 417 Pa. 17, 208 A.2d 264, 265-66 (1965).15 Graham , 2019 WL 1276313, at *3 (citing Forsythe v.......
  • Altsman v. Kelly
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • November 27, 1939
    ...Pa. 164, 170 A. 131; Goodall v. Hess, 315 Pa. 289, 172 A. 693; MacDougall v. American Ice Co., 317 Pa. 222, 176 A. 428; Smith v. Wistar, 327 Pa. 419, 194 A. 486; Smith v. Shatz, 331 Pa. 453, 200 A. While a pedestrian crossing an intersection with a green traffic light in his favor does not ......
  • Thompson v. Gorman
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • January 2, 1951
    ...has, under the law, the right of way at a crossing, Martino v. Adourian, 360 Pa. 580, [366 Pa. 248] 583, 63 A.2d 12; Smith v. Wistar, 327 Pa. 419, 422, 194 A. 486; Goodall v. Hess, 315 Pa. 289, 292, 172 A. 693, reason and logic must be combined with practical reality when interpreting what ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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