On defendants' rule to show cause why plaintiffs' verdicts should not be set aside.
For the rule, Joseph T. Lieblich.
Contra, John A. Matthews.
Before Gummere, Chief Justice, and Justices Trenchard and Lloyd.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
TRENCHARD, J. The plaintiff Harriet J. Bedell, a pedestrian, was injured on December 24th, 1927, while crossing Franklin avenue, Nutley, by an automobile driven by the
defendant Tanie, the agent of the defendant Mandel, the owner of the car.
On March 7th, 1930, she recovered, at the Essex Circuit, a verdict of $15,000, and her husband a verdict of $8,000 for the consequential damages to him arising from the injury to his wife.
It is convenient to deal first with the defendants' contention that the verdicts should be set aside because against the weight of the evidence upon the question of the negligence of the driver of defendant's car, and the question of the contributory negligence of Mrs. Bedell.
We think there is no merit in this contention. Whilst the evidence bearing upon these questions was more or less in conflict, we consider that the jury was amply justified in finding as they did for the plaintiffs, and that such verdicts were not against the weight of the evidence. It reasonably tended to show that the plaintiff stepped from the running board of her friend's automobile which was "parked" along the street; that as she did so, she looked in both directions and saw that there were no vehicles traveling the street excepting the defendant's automobile, which was coming "away up the street" about three hundred feet away, and she "knew" that she "had time to cross;" that she proceeded to cross and had almost reached the fourth rail of the two street car tracks in the street; that she had heard no horn or warning, but then noticed defendant's car coming directly towards her; that she then hurried but the defendant's car swerved towards her and hit her and dragged her a distance which she said was the length of the court room.
We now examine the contention of defendant Mandel that the judge erred in refusing to direct a verdict in his favor.
We think that this point is without merit. He was the owner of the car. He directed his servant, the defendant Tanie, to drive from his place of business in Paterson and deliver a check to one Kuntz in Newark, and told him to go through Hazel road and Bloomfield to Newark "and ...