312 N.E.2d 126 (Ind.App. 1 Dist. 1974), 1--872A46, Link v. Sun Oil Co.

Docket Nº1--872A46.
Citation312 N.E.2d 126, 160 Ind.App. 310
Party NameJames D. LINK, Appellant (Plaintiff Below), v. SUN OIL COMPANY, a corporation, et al., Appellees (Defendants Below).
Case DateJune 05, 1974
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 126

312 N.E.2d 126 (Ind.App. 1 Dist. 1974)

160 Ind.App. 310

James D. LINK, Appellant (Plaintiff Below),

v.

SUN OIL COMPANY, a corporation, et al., Appellees (Defendants Below).

No. 1--872A46.

Court of Appeals of Indiana, First District.

June 5, 1974

Transfer Denied Sept. 11, 1974.

Page 127

[160 Ind.App. 311] James P. Buchanan, Lebanon, Warren Buchanan, Rockville, Williams & Williams, Covington, for appellant.

James L. Crawford, Cox, Zwerner, Gambill & Sullivan, Terre Haute, Richard D. Wagner, Krieg, DeVault, Alexander & Capehart, Indianapolis, John B. McFaddin, Rockville, Wallace, Wallace, Campbell & Bunch, Covington, for appellees.

LYBROOK, Judge.

Plaintiff-appellant, James D. Link, sought damages from defendant-appellees for personal injuries sustained in the explosion of the inner tube of a truck wheel assembly. From judgment on a jury verdict for defendants, Link appeals.

Link presents two alleged errors for review:

(1) Whether the trial court committed reversible error in refusing Link's tendered instruction No. 6.

(2) Whether the jury verdict in favor of defendant-appellee Phillips & Mull on the issue of strict liability is contrary to the evidence and contrary to law.

[160 Ind.App. 312] The pertinent facts of this case are as follows:

On April 16, 1967, plaintiff-appellant Link was employed by his brother-in-law, Charles Sentman, as a logger. On that day, while Sentman and Link were returning to Waveland, Indiana, from Brazil in Sentman's truck, a 1962 G.M.C. flatbed, they discovered that one of the tires on the rear axle had gone flat. Link, Sentman and Ernest Turner removed the tire, placed it in Sentman's pick-up truck, and

Page 128

drove to Phillips & Mull DX Station in Rockville to have the tire repaired. Link, testifying in his own behalf, and Sentman, testifying for the defense, stated that an unidentified employee of Phillips & Mull repaired the tire by installing a new tube. Contradictory testimony was given by Phillips & Mull's employees Charles Richardson and Benny Branson when they testified that they were both employed by Phillips & Mull on April 16, 1967, and that neither had repaired a truck tire on that day. Richardson further testified that when asked to repair the tire, he told Sentman that Phillips & Mull did not repair truck tires at all. Phillips testified that the Phillips & Mull Station had at one time carried truck tires and tubes, but had not done so since 1965. Phillips further stated that no truck tires or tubes were stored in the station and all employees had been instructed not to fix truck tires.

After the tire was repaired, Link, Sentman, and Turner returned to the truck and attempted to mount the wheel. When this attempted met resistance, Link obtained a six pound sledge hammer to facilitate the task. He struck the wheel rim twice, and on the second blow the tire exploded. Link sustained severe facial cuts and the loss of vision in one eye. Link testified that the wheel assembly was partially mounted when he used the sledge hammer but Sentman stated that the wheel assembly was laying on the ground and Link was standing on it when he struck it and it exploded.

The explosion was...

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