exercise of his normal faculties, to be dangerous.'
Conceding that the decedent was in the discharge of his duties at the time, it was not necessary for him to go upon the circuit breaker. The information for the inventory could have been procured with slight delay by the company's maintenance men or electricians who customarily obtained such data from equipment in places difficult of access. Nor could it be said that the decedent moved over a route unknown to him in the exercise of his normal faculties to be dangerous. The most elementary precaution, if taken, would have disclosed to him that the circuit breaker was electrified. The structure was no innocuous appearing fuse box such as was involved in MacDougall v. Pennsylvania P. & L. Co., 1933, 311 Pa. 387, 166 A. 589, but was impressive enough to put a reasonably prudent person on guard. Added to this is the fact that G-16 was situated 500 feet from the government power house and about 200 feet from a control station which decedent and Shutts had passed on their way to the circuit breakers. Then, too, during the time decedent was employed on the job, constant warnings on safety were given by his employer. Whether he personally had been cautioned not to enter electrical installations without an electrician in attendance does not directly appear, but he knew he was working in a dangerous place and was bound to be on the alert. In reading the numbers from the circuit breakers, decedent had used a flashlight and it is not clear why a flashlight would have been necessary on an August afternoon unless to maintain a safe distance from the circuit breakers. It may be that the decedent assumed that his employer had taken advance precautions to make the place safe for his activity. Nevertheless, no one had given him any assurance of safety. In view of the grave consequences that would follow if the assumption was wrong, a reasonable person with due regard for his own safety would not have made it. Under the circumstances, decedent must be charged with knowledge of the danger inherent in the circuit breaker. Haertel v. Pennsylvania Light & Power Co., 1908, 219 Pa. 640, 69 A. 282; Cf. Durinzi v. West Penn Power Co., 1947, 357 Pa. 576, 55 A.2d 316; Stoffel v. New York, N.H. & H.R. Co., 2 Cir., 1953, 205 F.2d 411.
Conclusions of Law
1. The court has jurisdiction of the subject matter and the parties under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
2. The plant superintendent of the United States at the Keystone Ordnance Works was guilty of negligence which was the cause of the accident of August 30, 1949, in which James Lewis Hamilton was fatally injured.
3. Matthew Leivo & Sons, Inc., third-party defendant, was guilty of negligence which was the cause of the accident of August 30, 1949, in which James Lewis Hamilton was fatally injured.
4. James Lewis Hamilton was guilty of contributory negligence.
5. Judgment should be entered in behalf of the defendant, United States of America.
An appropriate order is entered.
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