Congdon v. Howe Scale Co.
|29 A. 253,66 Vt. 255
|CONGDON v. HOWE SCALE CO.
|29 March 1894
|United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
Exceptions from Rutland county court; Ross, Judge.
Case by Charles H. Congdon against the Howe Scale Company for personal injuries caused by defendant's negligence. There was a verdict and judgment for defendant, and plaintiff excepts. Reversed.
The plaintiff was employed by the defendant in finishing small castings, in the course of which he had to use an emery wheel. The work was by the piece, and the tools and machinery were furnished by the defendant. The plaintiff was injured by the bursting of one of these emery wheels, while in the defendant's service. The evidence of the plaintiff tended to show that he found the wheel in question under the bench where he was at work, and took it to defendant's foreman, asking whether he might not use it, and being told by said foreman that he might; that in consequence he put the wheel onto the arbor, and started it, whereupon, soon after coming up to speed, it burst, striking him in the abdomen, and inflicting serious injuries; that the wheel was of an inferior grade, and only rated for 1,900 revolutions per minute, while the speed of his arbor was 2,700; and that the defendant had provided no guard to prevent the pieces from striking the workman in case the wheel did burst. The evidence of the defendant tended to show that its foreman, upon being applied to as above, directed the plaintiff not to use the wheel, and that guards were not required or used. Upon the last point the defendant introduced one Cook, who testafled, against the plaintiff's exception, that he was familiar with the use of emery wheels, and had been in many places where such wheels were used, and that he had only seen guards in one or two cases. The defendant also claimed that, when the plaintiff put the wheel onto the arbor, he fitted on the collar and washers improperly, and in such a manner that, when screwed up close against the side of the wheel, it was thereby cracked. As tending to show which washer was next the wheel, one Webster was permitted to testify, under the plaintiff's exception, that after the accident he fitted one of the washers which he found upon the arbor into the indentation upon the pieces of wheel. Both the washer and pieces were in court and examined by the jury.
The plaintiff requested the court to instruct the jury as follows:
The court refused to comply with the requests but charged upon their subject-matter in the following language: "The only fault or negligence that the plaintiff claims that the defendant was guilty of with reference to him was in reference to his emery wheel. He claims that this emery wheel was an unsuitable tool for him to use, made as it was, and unguarded as it was. Now, gentlemen, you take this up, and consider it in the order: ...
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