Funk v. General Motors Corp., Docket No. 8376

Decision Date17 January 1972
Docket NumberNo. 2,Docket No. 8376,2
Citation194 N.W.2d 916,37 Mich.App. 482
PartiesEllis FUNK, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation, and Darin & Armstrong, a corporation, Defendants-Appellants
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan — District of US

Harry B. McAra, McAra & Palmer, Flint, for GMC; Jeanette A. Paskin, Plunkett, Cooney, Rutt & Peacock, Detroit, of counsel.

Matthew Davison, Jr., Flint, for Darin & Armstrong.

Harry M. Philo, Detroit, for plaintiff-appellee.

Before QUINN, P.J., and J. H. GILLIS and VanVALKENBURG, * JJ.

QUINN, Presiding Judge.

Plaintiff brought this action to recover for injuries received when he fell through the roof of a construction project at the AC plant in Flint. By a vote of ten to two, the jury returned a verdict for plaintiff against both defendants, a judgment entered and defendants appeal.

GMC (hereinafter owner) drafted the plans and specifications for the project and employed Darin & Armstrong (hereinafter contractor) as the general contractor. Owner also employed the plumbing subcontractor, but the owner assigned this contract to the contractor. The subcontractor was the employer of plaintiff.

Plaintiff was a journeyman plumber with no experience in industrial pipefitting or steamfitting, although licensed to do such work. When plaintiff was laid off as a house plumber, his union sent him to work for the plumbing subcontractor at the AC project. Plaintiff advised the superintendent of his lack of experience in industrial pipefitting and steamfitting. Plaintiff was sent to work 'up in the steel' installing pipe near the ceiling with no safety indoctrination.

When plaintiff went to work February 27, 1967, he was assigned to moving pipe which had been installed too close to the sprinkling system. The pipe to be moved hung from J-hooks attached to an I-beam, and the method used to move the J-hooks the required two feet was to hammer them along the beam.

Approximately the first half of the pipe was moved without difficulty, but the last half was under an area of the roof which had been covered with cement roof slabs. Unable to hammer the J-hooks under the slabs, plaintiff, on his own initiative, went on the roof, pried up the slabs, turned them over and was able to get at the J-hooks. At an area around an uncovered skylight or ventilator, the roof slabs could not be turned over because of the apron on the skylight. To open this area of the roof, plaintiff and his assistant pulled one roof slab out from under the apron about one foot where it rested on a diagonal expansion rod. Plaintiff and his assistant pulled a second roof slab out from under the apron 10--14 inches where it rested on a rod. The point where the latter slab rested on the rod was near the end of the slab, causing it to be sort of a teeter-totter.

The record is unclear as to what happened following the movement of this second slab. Only plaintiff and his assistant were present. Plaintiff testified that in attempting to arise from his knees, he leaned on his hammer, slipped, fell on the teeter-totter slab and he and the slab fell to the floor below. The assistant testified that the last time he saw...

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4 cases
  • Wilhelm v. Detroit Edison Co.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • October 9, 1974
    ...proficient in their area of work. McDonough v. General Motors Corp., 28 Mich.App. 7 (183 N.W.2d 904 (1970)); Funk v. General Motors Corp., 37 Mich.App. 482 (194 N.W.2d 916 (1972)); Lenderink v. Village of Rockford, 135 Mich. 531 (98 N.W. 4 (1904)). We note that McDonough, supra and Funk, su......
  • Funk v. General Motors Corp.
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • August 2, 1974
    ...holding that Funk had himself created the dangerous condition which was the immediate cause of his injury. Funk v. General Motors Corp., 37 Mich.App. 482, 194 N.W.2d 916 (1972). Funk had hung 6-inch piping from steel beams of the superstructure of a clear-span addition to a General Motors p......
  • McDonough v. General Motors Corp.
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • October 31, 1972
    ...our next conference some additional material he deems pertinent both to the McDonough Case and the yet unsubmitted Funk v. General Motors (37 Mich.App. 482, 194 N.W.2d 916) 'The foregoing, I believe, will get the case back on schedule so that it may move along.' Now that the duty of around-......
  • Fredericks v. General Motors Corp.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • July 26, 1973
    ...26 Mich.App. 481, 182 N.W.2d 617 (1970); Huntley v. Motor Wheel Corp., 31 Mich.App. 385, 188 N.W.2d 5 (1971); Funk v. General Motors Corp., 37 Mich.App. 482, 194 N.W.2d 916 (1972), leave to appeal granted 387 Mich. 764 (1972); Kirner v. General Motors Corp., 41 Mich.App. 211, 199 N.W.2d 827......

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