Cleary, Lloyd and Stanton. The opinion of the court was delivered by Cleary, J.s.c.
This is an appeal from the Monmouth County Court. The action is one brought by Mary Porter for personal injuries and Edward Porter, her husband, for medical expenses, etc. The defendants are Boro Busses Corporation and Augustus Mugge, its agent and servant.
The plaintiff was a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Fair Haven Fire Department. On December 26, 1946, the Fire Department held a meeting at which it was decided to submit to the members of the Ladies' Auxiliary, two alternative propositions, the choice of a dinner to be given locally, or a trip to New York.
A few days following December 26th, Robert Van Brunt, chairman of the refreshment and entertainment committee of the Fire Department, informed Mr. Matthews, general manager of the Boro Busses Corporation, that the ladies had selected the trip to New York, and informed him that the trip was to be made January 16, 1947. On January 16, 1947, two busses owned by the defendant corporation and operated by its agent and servant, picked up the members of the Ladies' Auxiliary, including the plaintiff, and started out with them to the City of New York.
As the bus in which the plaintiff was riding reached Linden, New Jersey, it was in collision with the second bus; the first bus having been stopped by a police officer, and the second bus which failed to stop. In this collision, the plaintiff, Mrs. Mary Porter, suffered bodily injury.
At the meeting of December 26th, Mr. Van Brunt was informed by Mr. Matthews that the cost of a bus to New York was approximately $55, but since the Fire Department was during it, he would have to see Mr. Russell, an officer of the
corporation, to be sure he could give the Fire Department a "break." On February 3rd, Mr. Van Brunt again asked Mr. Matthews for a bill for the two busses and at that time was informed by Mr. Matthews that he would have to take it up with Mr. Russell, president and treasurer of the Boro Busses Corporation. Nothing further was said by any of the parties as to the cost of said busses until February 23rd, and after the accident had happened. Mr. Matthews then informed Mr. Van Brunt that he, Mr. Russell, the president and treasurer of the bus company, had told him that there would be no charge for the bus.
These issues were submitted to the jury which rendered a verdict in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiffs of no cause for action.
Under the set of facts as outlined above, the court in its charge to the jury instructed that it was for them to determine whether the plaintiff was in the bus as a licensee or an invitee. That portion of the charge relating to the question of whether or not the plaintiff was in the status of a licensee or invitee was objected to by counsel for the plaintiff, and from this portion of the charge the plaintiff appeals.
The only question raised upon this appeal is as to whether or not the court erred in charging that under the evidence produced in the trial, the jury could find that the plaintiff was a licensee in the bus of the defendant.
It is the contention of the appellant:
(1) That there was no factual background presented by the evidence from which the jury could find that the passenger, Mary Porter, was riding gratuitously upon the bus of the defendant, or any evidence of the defendants having intended to donate the busses at the time of the trip ...