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MITCHELL v. SCHARF. (07/21/55)

July 21, 1955

MITCHELL, APPELLANT,
v.
SCHARF.



Appeal, No. 56, April T., 1955, from judgment of County Court of Allegheny County, 1953, No. 8, in case of Elinor Mitchell v. Joseph Scharf et ux. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Norman Landy, with him Wolken & Landy, for appellant.

H. A. Robinson, with him Dickie, McCamey, Chilcote, Reif & Robinson, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Ross, Gunther, Wright, and Woodside, JJ. (hirt and Ervin, JJ., absent).

Author: Ross

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 221]

OPINION BY ROSS, J.

The appeal in this trespass action is from judgment n.o.v. entered by the court below after the jury awarded plaintiff damages for personal injuries sustained in the home of defendants, the basis for the n.o.v. being

[ 179 Pa. Super. Page 222]

    the failure of the plaintiff to prove negligence on the part of defendants.

Plaintiff was hired by defendants as a domestic worker for one day. She was instructed to do some miscellaneous household chores and then some laundry. Since she was not familiar with the operation of defendants' clothes dryer, she was instructed to hang the various articles on clotheslines which ran across the cellar. At one end of the cellar the lines were attached to a kitchen cabinet, which in turn was attached to and hanging suspended from the wall approximately five feet from the floor. Plaintiff testified that the cabinet was nailed to the wall, but on cross-examination stated that she did not know how it was attached. In any event, she did not state how it was nailed, how many nails were used, nor how large the nails were. The cabinet contained old check stubs and some glasses. The clotheslines were attached by means of screws inserted at about the middle of the cabinet. After plaintiff had hung up three sheets on one of the lines and as she was hanging the fourth, the cabinet pulled away from the wall and fell upon her, causing certain injuries to her left side. She was stunned and when she got up from under the cabinet she swept up the broken glass, picked up the clothes from the floor and went home after receiving her pay. She never went back, nor did she see the cabinet again.

Appellant limits the question on this appeal to a determination of whether these facts bring the case within the doctrine of exclusive control, making it unnecessary for her to show specific acts of negligence on the part of defendants.

In order for plaintiff to recover it was, of course, incumbent upon her to show that defendants were negligent in the duty they owed to her and that this negligence was ...


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