On appeal from the Supreme Court.
For the appellant, Henry H. Fryling and Henry J. Sorenson.
For the appellees, Avis & Avis.
The opinion of the court was delivered by
WELLS, J. This is an appeal from three judgments entered in the Supreme Court on a verdict rendered in favor of the plaintiffs against the defendant in the Gloucester Circuit.
The actions were brought under the Death act to recover damages for the pecuniary loss sustained by the plaintiffs because of the deaths of their intestates in a collision between a Ford car in which the three decedents were riding and an automobile passenger bus owned and operated by the defendant.
The cases were tried together and on rules to show cause, based only on the excessiveness of the verdicts, two of the verdicts were reduced by the Supreme Court.
The complaints alleged that on October 29th, 1930, the decedents were occupants of a Ford automobile which was being operated by Joseph Parave, and proceeding in a southerly direction along the public highway known as Delsea Drive in the township of Franklin, county of Gloucester and State of New Jersey; that the defendant was operating its bus along the Delsea Drive proceeding in a northerly direction, and that as the Ford automobile in which the decedents were riding and the bus of the defendant approached the intersection of the Delsea Drive with the public highway leading from Delsea Drive to Ionia (known as the Williamstown road), the defendant negligently operated its bus at a high and unlawful rate of speed, and without due regard for the rights and safety of other persons using said highway, and negligently failed to have the bus in proper mechanical order and the brakes in good proper working condition, and negligently operated it from the right or easterly side of the Delsea Drive to the left or westerly side thereof, so that it collided into and against the automobile in which decedents were passengers, resulting in their deaths.
The answers deny the allegations of the complaints, except
the ownership and operation of the bus, and plead contributory negligence on the part of decedents.
At the close of the plaintiffs' case, the appellant moved for nonsuits in all three cases, which motions were denied and exceptions taken thereto. The reasons advanced for the motions for nonsuits were that there was no proof of any negligence nor any proof of any facts which give rise to an immediate inference of negligence which was the proximate cause of whatever had taken place; and that there was no proof in the cases that the decedents were in an automobile which was being operated in a southerly direction along Delsea Drive nor that it collided with the bus of the defendant, nor that an accident took place as the result of negligence which was the proximate cause, on the part of defendant, in which accident the decedents met their deaths.
At the close of the entire case, the appellant moved for the direction of verdicts for the same reasons given in the motions for nonsuits with the additional reason that the ...