The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARD
This is an action for damages for personal injuries sustained by plaintiff. I make the following special
1. Plaintiff is a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2. Defendant is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of New Jersey.
3. On September 7, 1942, plaintiff was employed by the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company as a chipper of welded casings, and used a high speed device upon which was mounted a grinding wheel in the performance of his duties.
4. While plaintiff was at work, the grinding wheel broke into several parts, one of which struck plaintiff in the left leg, causing serious injury to him.
5. Plaintiff has failed to show that the grinding wheel was manufactured by defendant.
Liability of the defendant in this case is predicated on the allegation that it was the manufacturer of the grinding wheel which broke and injured plaintiff. This question having been put in issue by the defendant, burden of proof thereof was upon the plaintiff.
The only evidence offered by plaintiff to identify the wheel as one manufactured by defendant was a report by Carl Beck, the supervisor of the shop in which plaintiff was working at the time of the accident. This report was prepared by Beck within a couple of hours of the accident as a routine report in accordance with his instructions from Westinghouse, and was submitted by him to his superior. It stated in part: "Operator was grinding weld on blower casing discharge section, DWG20J904, item 76, SO2A7448. At the time of the accident operator was grinding weld where items 88 and 95 are joined together. Operator was using a 'Thor' side grinder with six inch by one-half inch Royalite stone #163-G247-3. Stone broke into three pieces, one part striking the operator's left leg between ankle and knee. Diameter of stone at the time of accident was 4.7/8 inches."
It was admitted by defendant that "Royalite" was a trade name of a grinding wheel manufactured only by it.
Beck was called to the witness stand by plaintiff to testify as to his preparation of the report. His testimony was confused and in some respects contradictory.He stated that he did not remember any identifying marks on the fragments of the wheel. He further testified that as far as he remembered he went to the tool room and obtained the trade name and number of the wheel which he noted in his report from another wheel in the tool room. Still further he testified he had no actual knowledge prior to writing his report regarding the ...