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WHITFIELD v. EARL E. KNOX CO.

August 29, 1956

Ernest WHITFIELD, Plaintiff,
v.
EARL E. KNOX COMPANY and Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

This is an action based on negligence to recover damages for personal injuries.

Upon jury trial a verdict was returned in favor of plaintiff and against Earl E. Knox Company and Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company in the amount of $ 25,000. *fn1"

 The matters before the court are two-fold:

 1. Defendants' motions to set aside the verdict or for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

 2. Defendants' motions for new trial.

 For purposes of brevity, the following abbreviations will be employed:

 Scullin Steel Company -- 'Scullin'

 Earl E. Knox Company -- 'Knox'

 Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company -- 'Pneumatic'

 It is undisputed that Pennsylvania law applies.

 Motions to Set Aside the Verdict or for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict

 This action arose out of a rare and unusual accident that occurred in the power house of Scullin in St. Louis, Missouri, on the morning of February 28, 1952.

 Plaintiff was engaged in the course of his employment with Scullin as a laborer, unloading fire brick from a box car into a storage warehouse. A diesel engine ran out of control causing its large cast iron flywheel to disintegrate with segments of the wheel passing through a wall facing on the areaway in which the box car was stationed and in which plaintiff was working. A fragment of the wheel struck plaintiff resulting in serious injury.

 It is undisputed that the diesel had originally been manufactured by Pneumatic and was subsequently reconditioned by Knox, and that Knox had sold Scullin said diesel and had warranted ...


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