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Vargo v. Ballantine

Decided: January 26, 1938.

MICHAEL VARGO, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
P. BALLANTINE & SONS (A NEW JERSEY CORPORATION), DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND METROPOLITAN DISTRIBUTORS, INCORPORATED (A FOREIGN CORPORATION), AND ELIZABETH-UNION-HILLSIDE-IRVINGTON LINE, INCORPORATED (A NEW JERSEY CORPORATION), DEFENDANTS



On appeal from the Supreme Court, Union Circuit.

For the defendant-appellant, P. Ballantine & Sons, John A. Matthews.

For the defendant Elizabeth-Union-Hillside-Irvington Line, Incorporated, Franklin, Kiernan & Cashion.

For the plaintiff-respondent, Francis A. Gordon (John M. Mackenzie, of counsel).

Wells

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WELLS, J. This was a suit to recover damages sustained by the plaintiff-respondent, Vargo, because of injuries received while a passenger in a bus owned and operated by the defendant Elizabeth-Union-Hillside-Irvington Line, Incorporated (hereinafter called "Elizabeth-Union Line"), which was in collision with a truck owned by the defendant Metropolitan Distributors, Incorporated, and leased to and operated by the defendant-appellant, P. Ballantine & Sons (hereafter called "Ballantine").

A verdict was rendered by the jury in favor of the plaintiff, Vargo, against both the appellant, Ballantine, and the defendant Elizabeth-Union Line in the sum of $22,500. The appeal from the judgment entered upon this verdict is taken by Ballantine alone.

Plaintiff submitted to a voluntary nonsuit against the defendant Metropolitan Distributors, Incorporated.

The accident, which was a head-on collision, occurred along a public highway known as Chestnut street in the township of Union. Michael Hanley was the driver of the Elizabeth-Union Line bus, which was proceeding in an easterly direction along said highway, and Charles Farcher, Jr., assisted by James Begley, was the driver of the Ballantine truck which was traveling in a westerly direction along said highway.

At the trial attorney for the plaintiff called as witnesses in behalf of the plaintiff the said Farcher and Begley to testify to events leading up to and including the time of the accident and the location of the bus and truck after they had

come to a stop. They naturally were hostile witnesses and sought to place the blame for the accident on Hanley, the driver of the bus.

On cross-examination, Farcher and Begley said that when their truck came to a stop after the accident it was about one hundred feet west of the point of collision and they "immediately" got off and saw the bus in a field about one hundred and fifty feet east of the point of impact; that they "immediately" proceeded up the road toward the bus and that they saw Hanley, the driver of the bus, approaching them and they met somewhere on the road between the bus and the truck, and that within "two, or three, or four minutes or so" after the accident they had a conversation with Hanley, in which he is alleged to have made the statement, which the court ...


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