Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equipment Co., Inc., No. 20724

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtGREGORY; LEWIS
Citation246 S.E.2d 176,271 S.C. 171
PartiesOdell C. KENNEDY, a minor by his duly appointed and acting Guardian ad Litem, J. C. Kennedy, Respondent, v. CUSTOM ICE EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC., Appellant.
Decision Date24 July 1978
Docket NumberNo. 20724

Page 176

246 S.E.2d 176
271 S.C. 171
Odell C. KENNEDY, a minor by his duly appointed and acting
Guardian ad Litem, J. C. Kennedy, Respondent,
v.
CUSTOM ICE EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC., Appellant.
No. 20724.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
July 24, 1978.

[271 S.C. 173] Young, Clement & Rivers, Charleston, for appellant.

Moore, Flowers & Doar, Georgetown, for respondent.

Page 177

GREGORY, Justice.

Respondent Odell C. Kennedy brought this action by his guardian ad litem against appellant Custom Ice Equipment Company, Inc. (Custom) to recover damages he sustained when his left arm was amputated by machinery designed and installed by appellant. The jury returned a verdict for respondent. Appellant contends the trial judge erred by refusing its motion for a directed verdict and by charging a particular OSHA regulation to the jury. We affirm.

On July 15, 1976, the day of the accident, Odell Kennedy had been employed at Georgetown Ice Company (Georgetown) for three days. He was fifteen years old and this was his first job.

Georgetown is in the business of manufacturing and distributing crushed or "party" ice.

Custom designed and installed the machinery used by Georgetown to manufacture ice.

Odell was instructed to enter the cold storage room at Georgetown and empty the ice storage bins. These storage bins are fed by an overhead Archimedean screw conveyor which carries the ice from the ice making machine to the bins. The ice is removed from an opening in the underside of each bin through which the ice falls when a trap door is opened. It is common for the ice in these bins to freeze up or solidify and not fall out of the bins through the trap doors. When this freezing up of the ice, or "bridging" as the condition is called, occurs, the ice has to be physically dislodged.

To this purpose, Georgetown constructed a wooden catwalk alongside the storage bins from which its employees [271 S.C. 174] could reach into the bins and break up the frozen ice with a garden hoe.

On the morning of the accident Odell mounted the catwalk for the first time and proceeded to dislodge the frozen ice with a garden hoe. He was drawn into the overhead conveyor by his left arm when the hoe made contact with the conveyor. Odell's left arm was torn off and he suffered disfiguring scars to his left shoulder.

It is undisputed that all machinery involved in the accident was designed and installed by appellant and that the wooden catwalk was constructed by respondent's employer, Georgetown.

Respondent's complaint alleges two causes of action against appellant: one for negligent design of the overhead screw conveyor and one based on strict liability in tort. By way of defense appellant sought to establish the conveyor was not negligently designed, but that if it was negligently designed respondent was contributorily negligent. Appellant further sought to establish the machinery was not defective when delivered but had been rendered defective by the construction of the catwalk by Georgetown.

Appellant's motion for a directed verdict as to each cause of action was refused by the trial judge and the case was submitted to the jury. A verdict was returned for respondent in the amount of $208,000 actual damages. This appeal followed.

On appeal from an order of the lower court denying appellant's motion for a directed verdict, this Court will review the evidence and all...

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32 practice notes
  • Branham v. Ford Motor Co., No. 26860.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 17, 2010
    ...v. Gen. Motors Corp., 277 S.C. 259, 265, 286 S.E.2d 129, 132 (1982) (adopting the risk-utility test); Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equip. Co., 271 S.C. 171, 176, 246 S.E.2d 176, 178 (1978) (affirming verdict in favor of plaintiff by noting that plaintiff presented evidence of a design alternative)......
  • Suter v. San Angelo Foundry & Mach. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • July 31, 1979
    ...1288 (1978) (rejects Barker in favor of 402A language approved for Oregon in Roach v. Konoven, Supra ); Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equip. Co., 246 S.E.2d 176, 178 (S.C.1978); Community Television Services, Page 192 Inc. v. Dresser Ind. Inc., 435 F.Supp. 214, 216 (S.D.S.D.1977); Wyatt v. Winnebag......
  • Branham v. Ford Motor Co., 26860
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 16, 2010
    ...v. Gen. Motors Corp., 277 S.C. 259, 265, 286 S.E.2d 129, 132 (1982) (adopting the risk-utility test); Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equip. Co., 271 S.C. 171, 176, 246 S.E.2d 176, 178 (1978) (affirming verdict in favor of plaintiff by noting that plaintiff presented evidence of a design alternative)......
  • Platt v. Csx Transportation, Inc., No. 4394.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 20, 2008
    ...whether particular conclusions are the only reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the evidence. Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equip. Co., 271 S.C. 171, 246 S.E.2d 176 (1978); Small v. Pioneer Mach., Inc., 329 S.C. 448, 464, 494 S.E.2d 835, 843 (Ct.App.1997); see also Oliver, 309 S.C. at 313,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
32 cases
  • Branham v. Ford Motor Co., No. 26860.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 17, 2010
    ...v. Gen. Motors Corp., 277 S.C. 259, 265, 286 S.E.2d 129, 132 (1982) (adopting the risk-utility test); Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equip. Co., 271 S.C. 171, 176, 246 S.E.2d 176, 178 (1978) (affirming verdict in favor of plaintiff by noting that plaintiff presented evidence of a design alternative)......
  • Suter v. San Angelo Foundry & Mach. Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • July 31, 1979
    ...1288 (1978) (rejects Barker in favor of 402A language approved for Oregon in Roach v. Konoven, Supra ); Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equip. Co., 246 S.E.2d 176, 178 (S.C.1978); Community Television Services, Page 192 Inc. v. Dresser Ind. Inc., 435 F.Supp. 214, 216 (S.D.S.D.1977); Wyatt v. Winnebag......
  • Branham v. Ford Motor Co., 26860
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 16, 2010
    ...v. Gen. Motors Corp., 277 S.C. 259, 265, 286 S.E.2d 129, 132 (1982) (adopting the risk-utility test); Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equip. Co., 271 S.C. 171, 176, 246 S.E.2d 176, 178 (1978) (affirming verdict in favor of plaintiff by noting that plaintiff presented evidence of a design alternative)......
  • Platt v. Csx Transportation, Inc., No. 4394.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 20, 2008
    ...whether particular conclusions are the only reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the evidence. Kennedy v. Custom Ice Equip. Co., 271 S.C. 171, 246 S.E.2d 176 (1978); Small v. Pioneer Mach., Inc., 329 S.C. 448, 464, 494 S.E.2d 835, 843 (Ct.App.1997); see also Oliver, 309 S.C. at 313,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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