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[U] Beam v. Thiele Manufacturing, LLC

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

February 7, 2014

JASON BEAM AND HIS WIFE, KRISTIE BEAM,
v.
THIELE MANUFACTURING, LLC, FORMERLY KNOWN AS THIELE INC., FORMERLY KNOWN AS TYT HOLDING, INC. APPEAL OF: JASON BEAM

NON-PRECEDENTIAL DECISION

Appeal from the Order February 28, 2013 In the Court of Common Pleas of Somerset County Civil Division at No(s): 1041 CI VI L 2008.

Joseph D. Seletyn, Esq.

BEFORE: BENDER, P.J.E., LAZARUS, J., and MUNDY, J.

MEMORANDUM

MUNDY, J.:

Appellant Jason Beam appeals from the February 28, 2013 order granting summary judgment in favor of Appellee, Thiele Manufacturing, LLC (Thiele), and dismissing Appellant's com plaint.[1] After careful review, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this memorandum.

The trial court summarized the relevant facts of this case as follows.

The instant matter arises out of an accident which occurred on December 12, 2006[, ] in which [ Appellant] was injured while working in the course and scope of his employment with American Roofing, Inc. (" American Roofing") after falling through a fiber glass skylight on the roof of a building owned by [ Thiele] . Thiele is a Pennsylvania corporation engaged in manufacturing dump trucks and has no expertise in roofing. On October 17, 2006[, ] Thiele and American Roofing entered into a construction contract where American Roofing would perform work and replace existing skylights on the roof of a building owned by Thiele. At all times material hereto, American Roofing was an independent contractor by virtue of the contract that it had entered into with Thiele, and [ Appellant] was an employee of American Roofing. On December 12, 2006[, ] at approximately 2: 13 PM, while working on a skylight pursuant to the construction contract, [ Appellant] fell through one of the skylights and sustained serious injuries.
At deposition, [ Appellant] testified that he was an "experienced roofer[, ] "[ ] and when asked if he considered the subject roof to be out of the ordinary from a danger standpoint or if he considered it to be more dangerous than other roofs he had worked on in the past, [ Appellant] stated: "No. No. I 'd look at them - - I knew it was a dangerous job, my job in general. So I look at them all the same, I use the same precautions. No." [ Appellant] admitted that Thiele did not supervise or control his work or the work of American Roofing, and further, that no one from Thiele was present on the roof or at the worksite. To the contrary, [ Appellant] testified that American Roofing supervised his work.

Trial Court Opinion, 4/ 12/ 13, at 1-2 (footnotes containing citations to deposition transcript omitted).[2]

Following discovery, Thiele filed a motion for summary judgment on December 5, 2012. On February 28, 2013, the trial court granted said motion and dismissed the instant action.[3] This timely appeal followed.[4]

On appeal, Appellant raises the following issue for our review.

I . Did the trial court err in granting [ Thiele's] motion for summary judgment where the work [ Appellant] was performing at the time of his injury involved a peculiar risk of harm ...

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