Marshall v. North American Car Co., No. 79-2374

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore SEITZ, Chief Judge, and GIBBONS and ROSENN; SEITZ
Citation626 F.2d 320
Parties, 8 O.S.H. Cas.(BNA) 1722, 1980 O.S.H.D. (CCH) P 24,653 MARSHALL, Ray, Secretary of Labor, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Appellant, v. NORTH AMERICAN CAR COMPANY, N. Thomas Avenue, Sayre, Pennsylvania. In the Matter of ESTABLISHMENT INSPECTION OF NORTH AMERICAN CAR COMPANY, N. Thomas Avenue, Sayre, Pennsylvania.
Docket NumberNo. 79-2374
Decision Date24 July 1980

Page 320

626 F.2d 320
54 A.L.R.Fed. 467, 8 O.S.H. Cas.(BNA) 1722,
1980 O.S.H.D. (CCH) P 24,653
MARSHALL, Ray, Secretary of Labor, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Appellant,
v.
NORTH AMERICAN CAR COMPANY, N. Thomas Avenue, Sayre, Pennsylvania.
In the Matter of ESTABLISHMENT INSPECTION OF NORTH AMERICAN
CAR COMPANY, N. Thomas Avenue, Sayre, Pennsylvania.
No. 79-2374.
United States Court of Appeals,
Third Circuit.
Argued May 20, 1980.
Decided July 24, 1980.

Page 321

Carin A. Clauss, Sol. of Labor, Benjamin W. Mintz, Associate Sol. for Occupational Safety & Health, Allen H. Feldman, Counsel for App. Litigation, Charles I. Hadden, Acting Asst. Counsel for App. Litigation, Thomas L. Holzman (argued), Atty., U.S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D.C., for appellant.

Mark A. Lies, II (argued), Wm. Patrick Murphy, Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson, Chicago, Ill., Robert H. Young, Jr., Drinker, Biddle & Reath, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellee.

Before SEITZ, Chief Judge, and GIBBONS and ROSENN, Circuit Judges.

OPINION OF THE COURT

SEITZ, Chief Judge.

The Secretary of Labor appeals from an order of the district court refusing to hold North American Car Co. (the employer) in contempt for failure to comply with an inspection warrant issued pursuant to § 8(f) of the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C. § 657(f) (1976) (the Act).

I.

The employer operates a railroad car repair facility in Sayre, Pennsylvania. The Sayre plant covers an area of approximately 70 acres, about 40 of which are used to store cars awaiting maintenance, and the remainder are actual service areas. In general, cars are taken either to the F.R.A. area (short for Federal Railroad Administration) for lighter work or to the steelyard for heavier work. Work is done either outside or in separate buildings. For example, there is a steamrack, an outside area the size of four railroad cars where tankers are cleaned prior to maintenance. A variety of specialized tasks are performed in the separate buildings, including painting, wood fabrication, air brake repair, and so forth.

In early April of 1979, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) received a complaint from an employee at the Sayre plant who worked in the steelyard. The alleged violations of the Act covered three basic physical areas of the plant: the steamrack, an overhead crane that ran between some of the buildings, and one of the paint shops. 1

Page 322

After the employer refused entry to OSHA inspectors, they secured a warrant from a magistrate. The application merely recited the employee complaint. There is no allegation that the employer had ever been found in violation of the Act in the past. The warrant authorized the inspectors "to enter the (employer's) premises . . . to inspect . . . the workplace or environment where work is performed by employees of the employer and all pertinent conditions, structures, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment, materials, and all other things therein (including records, files, papers, processes, controls, and facilities)."

The inspectors returned to the plant and conducted an inspection for three days. After examining safety records, they inspected the wood fabrication shop, a tool storage area, and the air brake shop. They checked both the wiring and the noise and air quality levels in some of these areas. Due to inclement weather, the inspectors did not look at the crane or the steamrack violations listed in the complaint. Some inspection activity did take place in the paint shop.

After the third day, the employer refused to permit the inspection to continue. The Secretary then made a motion in the district court to hold the employer in contempt, arguing that an inspection of the entire plant (known as a "wall-to-wall" inspection) was proper. After a hearing, the district court concluded that the warrant and the inspection as conducted were overbroad in that they were not limited to the physical areas specified in the employee complaint. See Marshall v. North American Car Co., 476 F.Supp. 698 (M.D. Pa. 1979). It proceeded to enter an order quashing the warrant and dismissing the petition for contempt. This appeal followed.

II.

As our recitation of the facts indicates, the scope of the inspection exceeded the areas covered by the complaint. On appeal, the Secretary's sole argument is that such a wall-to-wall search is permissible in any case where OSHA has received an employee complaint. Although the parties have spent considerable time arguing constitutional issues, we must first turn to the statute because if it provides a basis for affirming the district court we need not reach the constitutional questions presented.

The Act authorizes two types of inspections: § 8(a) inspections, which usually are done pursuant to some sort of a general administrative plan, and § 8(f) inspections, which are the result of an employee complaint. Only § 8(f)(1) is involved here, and it provides:

Any employees or representative of employees who believe that a violation of a safety or health standard exists that threatens physical harm, or that an imminent danger exists, may request an inspection by giving notice to the Secretary or his authorized representative of such violation or danger. (The second sentence then specifies complaint procedures.) If upon receipt of such notification the Secretary determines...

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  • Simplex Time Recorder Co. v. Secretary of Labor, Nos. 83-2164
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • 5 Julio 1985
    ...may issue on specific complaint), cert. denied, 463 U.S. 1207, 103 S.Ct. 3538, 77 L.Ed.2d 1388 (1983); Marshall v. North American Car Co., 626 F.2d 320, 323 (3d Cir.1980) (though "the scope of the inspection must bear some relationship to the alleged violations in the employee complaint," i......
  • Donovan v. Sarasota Concrete Co., No. 81-5621
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 16 Diciembre 1982
    ...an appropriate relationship to the violation alleged in the complaint. E.g., Horn Seed Co., supra; Marshall v. North American Car Co., 626 F.2d 320, 324 (3d Cir.1980); Marshall v. Central Mine Equipment Co., 608 F.2d 719, 720-21 n. 1 (8th Page 1069 Cir.1979); In re Establishment Inspection ......
  • West Point-Pepperell, Inc. v. Donovan, POINT-PEPPEREL
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 21 Octubre 1982
    ...of the inspection must bear an appropriate relationship to the violations alleged in the complaint." Marshall v. North American Car Co., 626 F.2d 320 (3d Cir. 1980). See, e.g., In re Inspection of: Central Mine Equipment Co., 608 F.2d 719, 7 OSHC (BNA) 1907 (8th Cir. Page 963 1979); Marshal......
  • Reich v. Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., Civ. No. 94-373-M.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • 4 Agosto 1995
    ...violation alleged in the complaint); Marshall v. Horn Seed Co., 647 F.2d 96 (10th Cir.1981) (same); Marshall v. North American Car Co., 626 F.2d 320 (3rd Cir.1980) (same); Marshall v. Central Mine Equipment Co., 608 F.2d 719 (8th Cir.1979) (same) with Hern Iron Works, Inc. v. Donovan, 670 F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • Simplex Time Recorder Co. v. Secretary of Labor, Nos. 83-2164
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • 5 Julio 1985
    ...may issue on specific complaint), cert. denied, 463 U.S. 1207, 103 S.Ct. 3538, 77 L.Ed.2d 1388 (1983); Marshall v. North American Car Co., 626 F.2d 320, 323 (3d Cir.1980) (though "the scope of the inspection must bear some relationship to the alleged violations in the employee complaint," i......
  • Donovan v. Sarasota Concrete Co., No. 81-5621
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 16 Diciembre 1982
    ...an appropriate relationship to the violation alleged in the complaint. E.g., Horn Seed Co., supra; Marshall v. North American Car Co., 626 F.2d 320, 324 (3d Cir.1980); Marshall v. Central Mine Equipment Co., 608 F.2d 719, 720-21 n. 1 (8th Page 1069 Cir.1979); In re Establishment Inspection ......
  • West Point-Pepperell, Inc. v. Donovan, POINT-PEPPEREL
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 21 Octubre 1982
    ...of the inspection must bear an appropriate relationship to the violations alleged in the complaint." Marshall v. North American Car Co., 626 F.2d 320 (3d Cir. 1980). See, e.g., In re Inspection of: Central Mine Equipment Co., 608 F.2d 719, 7 OSHC (BNA) 1907 (8th Cir. Page 963 1979); Marshal......
  • Reich v. Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., Civ. No. 94-373-M.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • 4 Agosto 1995
    ...violation alleged in the complaint); Marshall v. Horn Seed Co., 647 F.2d 96 (10th Cir.1981) (same); Marshall v. North American Car Co., 626 F.2d 320 (3rd Cir.1980) (same); Marshall v. Central Mine Equipment Co., 608 F.2d 719 (8th Cir.1979) (same) with Hern Iron Works, Inc. v. Donovan, 670 F......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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