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Drotar v. Pennsylvania Railroad Co.

Decided: May 11, 1938.

ROSE DROTAR AND FRANK A. DROTAR, HER HUSBAND, RESPONDENTS,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY AND ALBERT WHITE, APPELLANTS



On appeal from the Mercer Common Pleas Court.

For the appellants, John A. Hartpence.

For the respondents, Kenneth J. Dawes.

Before Brogan, Chief Justice, and Justices Trenchard and Parker.

Parker

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PARKER, J. The claim of the plaintiffs was that Mrs. Drotar, having alighted at Trenton from a train of the defendant company, and having passed into the station, was on her way to a telephone therein for the purpose of communicating with her husband, when she slipped on what was claimed to be a greasy or oily spot on the floor, and fell, sustaining injuries for which the jury awarded verdicts to her and her husband against the railroad company and against the defendant White, who was the janitor employed by the company, whose duty it was to attend to the floor.

The appeal is submitted on briefs, and the grounds of appeal argued are, first, that the trial court refused to nonsuit for several stated reasons, and secondly, that the court refused to direct a verdict for the defendants or for the railroad company, on the same grounds. Those that are material for present purposes are:

"3. There was no proof of previous notice of the defect to the defendants Albert White and The Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

"4. As to the defendant The Pennsylvania Railroad Company, the proof of notice to Albert White under the facts of this case is not [proof of] notice to the defendant The Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

"5. There was no proof that the defect had existed for a sufficient length of time to have enabled the defendants to have discovered it in the exercise of reasonable care."

As to the existence of the oily spot at the time of the accident, there was plainly evidence to go to the jury, both direct, as, for example, the testimony of Mrs. Drotar herself, and

circumstantial, such as the mark on the spot itself of something having slid there, and the greasy spot ...


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