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GRACE v. HENRY DISSTON & SONS (01/07/52)

January 7, 1952

GRACE, APPELLANT,
v.
HENRY DISSTON & SONS, INC.



Appeal, No. 218, Jan. T., 1951 from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 1 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1949, No. 5254, in case of Michael Grace v. Henry Disston & Sons, Inc. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Paul Yermish, with him Joseph Ominsky and Malcolm Berkowitz, for appellant.

Michael A. Foley, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 369 Pa. Page 266]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

Plaintiff, Michael Grace, sued defendant, Henry Disston & Sons, Inc., in trespass to recover damages for injuries sustained as the result of an accident which occurred on December 1, 1947 at defendant's plant in Philadelphia. The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff. This appeal is from judgment non obstante verdicto entered on motion of the defendant.

In the early part of November in 1947 the defendant entered into a contract with the Bolger-Parker Company, a concern doing rigging work, to move from one location to another in a large building on defendant's property called the armor shop a number of industrial machines, including a punch press, a bending brake, a hydraulic press and a shear. The employes of the contractor began their work in the early part of November. They had been there for approximately a month when the task of moving the large shear machine, weighing about 50 tons, was considered. Larson,

[ 369 Pa. Page 267]

    the foreman of the Bolger-Parker Company and in charge of the removal, and Miller, defendant's superintendent of maintenance, together went to the location of the shear and Larson then informed Miller what things he wanted moved from the location so that the shear could be moved by his men. This was done pursuant to an understanding between the defendant and the contractor that the work locations would be made suitable by the defendant to the satisfaction of the contractor. The defendant moved everything suggested or requested by the contractor's foreman to the latter's complete satisfaction; and the contractor went into possession of the portion of the plant required for the removal of the machine without any occupancy or interference by the defendant.

The shear to be moved was located about 6 to 8 feet from the wall of the shop. It was approximately 12 feet high, 15 feet long and was in the shape of an open rectangle with large cutting edges at the front, with its back toward the wall. Stacked against this wall in a corner of the building to the rear of the shear were a number of steel bars in round and hexagonal shapes which were parts used in the operation of the shear. These bars varied in length, one or more of them being 12 feet long. Each weighed approximately 110 pounds. They were set up in a leaning position on an angle against the wall. During the removal of the shear by the contractor, the defendant continued its operation of the remainder of the plant.

On the afternoon of November 30th certain employes of the contractor, other than plaintiff, commenced work on the removal of the shear. On December 1st, the following day, the plaintiff, a truck driver and helper in the employ of the contractor, delivered additional equipment to the crew ...


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