Statler v. George A. Ray Mfg. Co.

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtHISCOCK
Citation195 N.Y. 478,88 N.E. 1063
Decision Date18 June 1909
PartiesSTATLER v. GEORGE A. RAY MFG. CO.

195 N.Y. 478
88 N.E. 1063

STATLER
v.
GEORGE A. RAY MFG.
CO.

Court of Appeals of New York.

June 18, 1909.


Appeal from Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

Action by Ellsworth M. Statler against the George A. Ray Manufacturing Company. A judgment for plaintiff was affirmed by the Appellate Division (125 App. Div. 69,109 N. Y. Supp. 172), and defendant appeals. Reversed.

[88 N.E. 1064]


[195 N.Y. 479]Charles F. Tabor, for appellant.

George P. Keating, for respondent.


[195 N.Y. 480]HISCOCK, J.

This action was brought to recover damages for personal injuries sustained through the explosion of a large coffee urn, whereby the plaintiff and another were severely scalded and a third person killed. The defendant was engaged in manufacturing and vending such urns for use in hotels. They were constructed in what was called a ‘battery of three.’ The central urn or boiler was equipped with a coil of pipe through which steam was driven, whereby water was heated which was siphoned into the urn on either side where the coffee was made. In the case of the appliance in question, the central urn was of considerable diameter, and perhaps three or four feet in height, and on the occasion of practically its first use its bottom was partially driven out by force of steam and water and the accident to plaintiff caused. The defendant did not sell this urn to the plaintiff, but to a jobber, who in turn sold the same to a company of which plaintiff was an officer. Thus there were no contractual relations between the parties to this action, but plaintiff instituted and thus far has succeeded in his action on the theory that defendant well knew the purposes for which its urn was to be used; that the latter was of such a character inherently that, when applied to the purposes for which it was designed, it was liable to become a source of great danger to many people if not carefully and properly constructed; that the defendant negligently and carelessly constructed it so that it was imminently dangerous when employed as intended to be; and that as the natural and direct result of this negligent and heedless conduct the urn exploded and the plaintiff was injured.

No exceptions were taken which challenge the correctness of the instructions given by the trial judge in his charge upon this substantial question of the case; but, without attempting [195 N.Y. 481]to review with exactness everything which he said upon this subject, we think it may be said that he submitted the case with substantial accuracy on this theory defining the limits within which defendant might be held liable and excluding as a ground of liability any accident resulting from unskillful installation or improper use of the urn. We think further that there was evidence which permitted a jury to say that the defendant, knowing the uses for which the urn was intended when it marketed the same, was guilty of, and of course chargeable with knowledge of, defective and unsafe construction. This leaves on this branch of the case simply the question whether a manufacturer and vendor of such an inherently dangerous appliance as this was may be made liable to a third party on the theory invoked by plaintiff, and we think that this question must be regarded as settled in the latter's favor by the following authorities: Thomas v. Winchester, 6 N. Y. 397, 57 Am. Dec. 455;Coughtry v. Globe Woolen Co., 56 N. Y. 124, 15 Am. Rep. 387;Devlin v. Smith, 89 N. Y. 470, 474-474,42 Am. Rep. 311;Davies v. Pelham Hod Elevating Co., 146 N. Y. 363, 41 N. E. 88;Torgesen v. Schultz, 192 N. Y. 156, 84 N. E. 956,18 L. R. A. (N. S.) 726;Connors v. Great Northern Elevator Co., 90 App. Div. 311,85 N. Y. Supp. 644, affirmed in 180 N. Y. 509, 72 N. E. 1140;Kahner v. Otis Elevator Co., 96 App. Div. 169,89 N. Y. Supp. 185;Huset v. Case Threshing Machine Co., 120 Fed. 865, 872, 57 C. C. A. 237, 61 L. R. A. 303;Keep v. Nat. Tube Co. (C. C.) 154 Fed. 121, 127;Marquardt v. Ball Engine Co., 122 Fed. 374, 58 C. C. A. 462; Thompson on Negligence, § 825 et seq.

The Torgesen Case is the last decision...

To continue reading

Request your trial
42 practice notes
  • Landon v. Kroll Lab. Specialists, Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 22, 2011
    ...in actions involving physical injury ( see MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 390, 111 N.E. 1050; Statler v. Ray Mfg. Co., 195 N.Y. 478, 481–482, 88 N.E. 1063; Fish v. Waverly Elec. Light & Power Co., 189 N.Y. 336, 345, 82 N.E. 150; Devlin v. Smith, 89 N.Y. 470, 477–478; Thomas v.......
  • Home Warranty Corp. v. Caldwell, No. 84-8698
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • December 11, 1985
    ...bystanders, see e.g., McLeod v. Linde Air Products Co., 318 Mo. 397, 1 S.W.2d 122 (1927); Statler v. George A. Ray Manufacturing Co., 195 N.Y. 478, 88 N.E. 1063 (1909) (dictum); Hopper v. Charles Cooper & Co., 104 N.J.L. 93, 139 A. 19 (Ct. of Error & Appeal 1927), and others located in the ......
  • Foley v. Pittsburgh-des Moines Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • October 17, 1949
    ...Inc., 167 Misc. 338, 3 N.Y.S.2d 918; Noone v. Fred Perlberg, Inc., 268 App.Div. 149, 49 N.Y.S.2d 460; Statler v. George A. Ray Mfg. Co., 195 N.Y. 478, 88 N.E. 1063; Smith v. Peerless Glass Co., Inc., 259 N.Y. 292, 181 N.E. 576. See other cases collected in 164 A.L.R. 587, note 19. In Pennsy......
  • Littlehale v. EI du Pont de Nemours & Co., No. Civ. 129-13.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • May 11, 1966
    ...MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company, 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 1050, L.R.A. 1916F, 696, Ann.Cas.1916C, 440; Statler v. George A. Ray Mfg. Co., 195 N. Y. 478, 88 N.E. 1063; Thomas v. Winchester, 6 N.Y. 397, 57 Am.Dec. 455. The intrinsically dangerous nature of the shells required that notice be g......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
42 cases
  • Landon v. Kroll Lab. Specialists, Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 22, 2011
    ...in actions involving physical injury ( see MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., 217 N.Y. 382, 390, 111 N.E. 1050; Statler v. Ray Mfg. Co., 195 N.Y. 478, 481–482, 88 N.E. 1063; Fish v. Waverly Elec. Light & Power Co., 189 N.Y. 336, 345, 82 N.E. 150; Devlin v. Smith, 89 N.Y. 470, 477–478; Thomas v.......
  • Home Warranty Corp. v. Caldwell, No. 84-8698
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • December 11, 1985
    ...bystanders, see e.g., McLeod v. Linde Air Products Co., 318 Mo. 397, 1 S.W.2d 122 (1927); Statler v. George A. Ray Manufacturing Co., 195 N.Y. 478, 88 N.E. 1063 (1909) (dictum); Hopper v. Charles Cooper & Co., 104 N.J.L. 93, 139 A. 19 (Ct. of Error & Appeal 1927), and others located in the ......
  • Foley v. Pittsburgh-des Moines Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • October 17, 1949
    ...Inc., 167 Misc. 338, 3 N.Y.S.2d 918; Noone v. Fred Perlberg, Inc., 268 App.Div. 149, 49 N.Y.S.2d 460; Statler v. George A. Ray Mfg. Co., 195 N.Y. 478, 88 N.E. 1063; Smith v. Peerless Glass Co., Inc., 259 N.Y. 292, 181 N.E. 576. See other cases collected in 164 A.L.R. 587, note 19. In Pennsy......
  • Littlehale v. EI du Pont de Nemours & Co., No. Civ. 129-13.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • May 11, 1966
    ...MacPherson v. Buick Motor Company, 217 N.Y. 382, 111 N.E. 1050, L.R.A. 1916F, 696, Ann.Cas.1916C, 440; Statler v. George A. Ray Mfg. Co., 195 N. Y. 478, 88 N.E. 1063; Thomas v. Winchester, 6 N.Y. 397, 57 Am.Dec. 455. The intrinsically dangerous nature of the shells required that notice be g......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT