Storm v. New York Tel. Co.

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtFINCH
Citation270 N.Y. 103,200 N.E. 659
Decision Date03 March 1936
PartiesSTORM v. NEW YORK TELEPHONE CO.

270 N.Y. 103
200 N.E. 659

STORM
v.
NEW YORK TELEPHONE CO.

Court of Appeals of New York.

March 3, 1936.


Action by George S. Storm, as administrator of the goods, chattels, and credits of Thomas S. Storm, deceased, against the New York Telephone Company. From a judgment of the Appellate Division (243 App.Div. 581, 276 N.Y.S. 191) affirming a judgment of the Trial Term for plaintiff, defendant appeals by permission.

Reversed and complaint dismissed.

O'BRIEN, HUBBS, and LOUGHRAN, JJ., dissenting.


[270 N.Y. 104]Appeal from Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department.

[200 N.E. 660]


Irving W. Young, Jr., N. H. Egleston, E. F. Snydstrup, H. N. Wells, and Charles T. Russell, all of New York City, for appellant.

270 N.Y. 105]Thomas J. O'Neill and L. Daniel Danziger, both of White Plains, for respondent.
FINCH, Judge.

There is no dispute concerning the material facts in this statutory death action.

The plaintiff's intestate died as a result of injuries received when a telephone pole on which he was working fell. At the time of the accident the deceased, Thomas S. Storm, was in the employ of the Westchester Lighting Company and was engaged in removing from the pole certain cross-arms and braces owned by his employer, the lighting company. The pole was owned by the defendant, the New York Telephone Company, and was one of several situated on the southerly side of Westchester avenue in or near the village of Port Chester in Westchester county. The poles were used by the defendant to carry its own wires, but it also leased to the Westchester[270 N.Y. 106]Lighting Company the right to string certain of its wires on the poles and the lighting company's employees had a right to be upon the poles.

The defendant inspected the poles along the line and discovered that some of the poles, including the one in question, were in a defective condition as a result of the existence of dry rot in the butts of the poles. The poles were replaced by the defendant in 1928 and it transferred its attachments from the old pole line to the new pole line, with the exception of one cable, together with its messenger strand or support wire. Under the rule and practice existing between the companies each removed its own wires and attachments from the poles. In December, 1928, the telephone company notified the lighting company in writing to remove its attachments from the old poles. The lighting company thereupon erected its own line of poles on the opposite side of the street for the purpose of transferring its attachments to these new poles.

Several days prior to the accident the district supervisor of the defendant went to the place where the lighting company's men were working. There he met the assistant district superintendent and the foreman in direct charge of the work of the Westchester Lighting Company and warned them concerning the defective and deteriorated condition of the poles. Frost, the assistant district superintendent of the lighting company, in turn notified the gang foreman of the lighting company ‘to be sure to pike or rope the poles.’ Not content with this, the defendant notified also the district superintendent of the lighting company. The employees who were thus given personal notice at the very place of the work told the district supervisor of the defendant not to worry and that they would assume the care. At the trial they admitted that they were warned and that they understood that the poles were in bad condition and that precautions should be taken in doing the work. The exact language used to [270 N.Y. 107]the assistant district superintendent and foreman of the lighting company before the attachments were removed was, ‘For God's sake be careful because we know and you know that those poles are not sound. They are old and deteriorated.’ To which the foreman replied, ‘O. K., Fitz. Don't worry about it. I will take care of it.’

Nevertheless no precautionary measures were employed by the lighting company. The customary practice of piking or guying defective poles, a practice which admittedly is very effective in preventing the falling of poles and would have prevented the fall of this pole, was completely disregarded. Several of the linemen of the lighting company climbed the pole in question on the day of and the day before the accident. The lineman on the pole before the deceased cut all the lighting company wires and when the last wire was cut it was noticed that the pole swayed a bit. It is not disputed that if the...

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33 practice notes
  • Gulf Oil Corporation v. Bivins, No. 17843.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • May 9, 1960
    ...his supervisory officials will be communicated in the ordinary course to all employees on the work." Storm v. New York Telephone Co., 270 N.Y. 103, 200 N.E. 659, The same principle is stated in Schwarz v. General Electric Realty Corporation, 163 Ohio St. 354, 126 N.E.2d 906; Hotel Oper......
  • Moloso v. State, No. 4971
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • May 7, 1982
    ...F.2d 753 (5th Cir. 1960); Brown v. American Cyanamid & Chemical Corp., 372 F.Supp. 311 (S.D.Ga.1973); Storm v. New York Telephone Co., 270 N.Y. 103, 200 N.E. 659 (1936); Delhi-Taylor Oil Corp. v. Henry, 416 S.W.2d 390 (Tex.1967), cert. denied 389 U.S. 1021, 88 S.Ct. 592, 19 L.Ed.2d 667 ......
  • Padilla v. Gulf Power Co., No. SS-24
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 13, 1981
    ...children of employees) injured on owner/contractee's premises. 7 Texas, like Florida, follows the rule of Storm v. New York Telephone Co., 270 N.Y. 103, 200 N.E. 659, as is well stated in Gulf Oil Corporation v. Bivins, 276 F.2d at We are persuaded by both precedent and principle that the o......
  • Rourke v. Garza, No. B--4791
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • November 5, 1975
    ...276 F.2d 753 (5th Cir. 1960); Tyler v. McDaniel, 386 S.W.2d 552 (Tex.Civ.App.--Dallas 1965, writ ref. n.r.e.); Storm v. New York Tel. Co., 270 N.Y. 103, 200 N.E. 659 (1936). Since reasonable care is not the standard in products liability cases, Rourke Rental's analogy to Delhi-Taylor is ina......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Gulf Oil Corporation v. Bivins, No. 17843.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • May 9, 1960
    ...his supervisory officials will be communicated in the ordinary course to all employees on the work." Storm v. New York Telephone Co., 270 N.Y. 103, 200 N.E. 659, The same principle is stated in Schwarz v. General Electric Realty Corporation, 163 Ohio St. 354, 126 N.E.2d 906; Hotel Oper......
  • Moloso v. State, No. 4971
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • May 7, 1982
    ...F.2d 753 (5th Cir. 1960); Brown v. American Cyanamid & Chemical Corp., 372 F.Supp. 311 (S.D.Ga.1973); Storm v. New York Telephone Co., 270 N.Y. 103, 200 N.E. 659 (1936); Delhi-Taylor Oil Corp. v. Henry, 416 S.W.2d 390 (Tex.1967), cert. denied 389 U.S. 1021, 88 S.Ct. 592, 19 L.Ed.2d 667 ......
  • Padilla v. Gulf Power Co., No. SS-24
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 13, 1981
    ...children of employees) injured on owner/contractee's premises. 7 Texas, like Florida, follows the rule of Storm v. New York Telephone Co., 270 N.Y. 103, 200 N.E. 659, as is well stated in Gulf Oil Corporation v. Bivins, 276 F.2d at We are persuaded by both precedent and principle that the o......
  • Rourke v. Garza, No. B--4791
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • November 5, 1975
    ...276 F.2d 753 (5th Cir. 1960); Tyler v. McDaniel, 386 S.W.2d 552 (Tex.Civ.App.--Dallas 1965, writ ref. n.r.e.); Storm v. New York Tel. Co., 270 N.Y. 103, 200 N.E. 659 (1936). Since reasonable care is not the standard in products liability cases, Rourke Rental's analogy to Delhi-Taylor is ina......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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