423 F.2d 664 (10th Cir. 1970), 281-69, Craghead v. United States

Docket Nº:281-69, 282-69.
Citation:423 F.2d 664
Party Name:Leo CRAGHEAD, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee. Junior SMITH, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Case Date:March 17, 1970
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 664

423 F.2d 664 (10th Cir. 1970)

Leo CRAGHEAD, Appellant,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

Junior SMITH, Appellant,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

Nos. 281-69, 282-69.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

March 17, 1970

Page 665

David E. Deatherage, Tulsa, Okl., for appellants.

Leonard Schaitman, Dept. of Justice (William D. Ruckelshaus, Asst. Atty. Gen., Richard A. Pyle, U.S. Atty., and Morton Hollander, Dept. of Justice, on the brief), for appellee.

Before BREITENSTEIN and HOLLOWAY, Circuit Judges and CHRISTENSEN, District Judge.

CHRISTENSEN, District Judge.

These two tort claim actions are considered together here as they were below, since the circumstances in each are essentially the same and the controlling principles of law are identical. After both cases had become at issue, special interrogatories had been answered and pre-trial conferences had been held, the trial court granted summary judgments in favor of the defendants. Whether the summary judgments were appropriate and justified upon the record before the trial court under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56 is the sole question presented here.

In the first case, plaintiff Craghead was injured on June 28, 1968 while employed as a carpenter-welder by Perini-M-K-Leavell, an independent contractor who was employed by the government for work on the Robert S. Kerr Lock and Dam, Sallisaw, Oklahoma. He was acting in the course of his employment when a scaffold on which he was standing fell. It was asserted by Craghead, and we shall assume, that one of the bolts horizontally protruding from the base of a concrete pourer on which this scaffold or board rested was a 'dummy bolt' without threads on it and that this 'dummy bolt' was the reason the accident occurred. It is not questioned that the contractor was negligent. Craghead further claims that the United States through its Corps of Engineers 'had the duty or undertook the duty to maintain and enforce safety standards and to inspect the work places, machinery and equipment used by the employee and to advise, report, counsel and recommend to the employer the existence of any unsafe, dangerous, hazardous or negligent condition thereabout and that such inspections were planned, periodic and directed to the safety of the employees on the project, including the welder-carpenter systems covered by plaintiff's...

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