89 N.W. 49 (Mich. 1902), Ball v. Hauser

Citation:89 N.W. 49, 129 Mich. 397
Opinion Judge:HOOKER, J.
Party Name:BALL v. HAUSER et al.
Attorney:E. J. Adams (N. J. Brown, of counsel), for appellant. L. E. Carroll and Clapperton & Owen, for appellees.
Judge Panel:LONG, J., took no part in the decision. The other Justices concurred.
Case Date:February 11, 1902
Court:Supreme Court of Michigan

Page 49

89 N.W. 49 (Mich. 1902)

129 Mich. 397



HAUSER et al.

Supreme Court of Michigan

February 11, 1902

Error to circuit court, Kent county; Alfred Wolcott, Judge.

Action by Oscar F. Ball against Charles A. Hauser and others. From a judgment for defendants, plaintiff brings error. Affirmed.

E. J. Adams (N. J. Brown, of counsel), for appellant.

L. E. Carroll and Clapperton & Owen, for appellees.


The defendants contracted to erect a large building in Grand Rapids. They sublet the carpenter work to a firm named Nordella & Owen, and the plaintiff was foreman for that firm. To raise mortar, stone, brick, iron, and other material, the defendants employed one Bush to put up and operate an elevator, and he personally[129 Mich. 398] ran the engine which furnished the necessary power during the time that the elevator was used. There is nothing to show that Nordella & Owen had a contract right to use this elevator. They had a derrick of their own, and a hoist, consisting of blocks and tackle, and there was access to the various parts of the building by ladders. It appears, however, that the defendants permitted Bush to use the elevator to raise material for them when it was not employed for the purposes of the defendants. Upon the cross-beam of the elevator was the following printed notice, viz.: 'Notice. This elevator is for freight only. All persons strictly forbidden to ride hereon. Any one acting contrary to this order does so at his own risk.' The elevator consisted of a cross-beam to which a platform made of planks was suspended by iron rods. It was raised by winding the pulley rope over a drum operated by the steam engine. Wheelbarrows loaded with materials were run upon the platform, and raised, there being a man at the top to receive material thus hoisted, and he had charge at the top, while Bush managed it below. In lowering the elevator, the drum was usually disconnected from the engine, and allowed to run loose, being controlled by a friction brake, operated by Bush. Where an exceptionally heavy load was being lowered, the engine was not disconnected, being run backward by the weight of the load, though the brake still had to be used, lest it run away with the engine, no steam being used. The plaintiff had some sash to carry up and distribute to the three floors, and went up with them on the elevator. On his return the brake failed to hold the elevator, and it descended rapidly to the ground, whereby plaintiff was injured in the feet and legs. A subsequent investigation showed some grease between the drum and the leather of the...

To continue reading