Zenchak v. Ryder Truck Rentals, Inc., 62-436

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Citation150 So.2d 727
Docket NumberNo. 62-436,62-436
PartiesMichael ZENCHAK, Appellant, v. RYDER TRUCK RENTALS, INC., a Florida corporation, Appellee.
Decision Date12 March 1963

Green & Hastings and Samuel Z. Goldman, Miami, for appellant.

Fowler, White, Gillen, Humkey & Trenam and Henry Burnett, Miami, for appellee.



The plaintiff in a negligence action against the defendant, Ryder Truck Rentals, Inc., appeals a summary final judgment. There is no dispute as to the material facts, and the trial court found the defendant immune from suit by reason of § 440.10(1), Fla.Stat., F.S.A., which is a part of the Workmen's Compensation Law. 1

The plaintiff was injured while supervising a job for his employer, the Mackle Company, which was constructing a bridge on its own property. As a necessary part of the job, plaintiff and those working with him were required to unload some heavy steel beams from a flatbed truck. The method used was to attach a cable to the beams and pull them off of the flatbed truck by use of power supplied by a second truck. The second truck was leased by the Mackle Company from the defendant, Ryder Truck Rentals, Inc.

In the process of unloading, the rented truck was being driven by another Mackle employee. This employee negligently allowed the truck to lurch forward so that plaintiff was injured. Plaintiff received Workmen's Compensation from his employer.

The trial judge held as a matter of law as follows:

'Stripped of excess verbiage the pivotal question here is whether or not the defendant Ryder is a third party against whom an independent action can be maintained under the Workmen's Compensation Act, Chapter 440, Florida Statutes.

'In the court's judgment this question must be resolved in the negative. The case of Smith v. Poston Equipment Rentals, Inc., Fla.App. (1958), 105 So.2d 578, expressly controls * * *.

* * *

* * *

'Actually, the case at bar would seem to be even stronger than the Smith case, supra. This is so because in the Smith case, the operator of the leased vehicle was an employee of the defendant-lessor, which is not true here. In addition in the Smith case, the court was required to develop a theory by which the injured party and the operator of the vehicle in question were 'statutory fellow servants' as a premise to the result reached; whereas in the instant case the injured plaintiff and the operator of the vehicle in question were in fact fellow servants under a common employer.

'In the face of these authorities the court reluctantly concludes that the defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.'

Appellant's contention upon appeal is that the owner of the truck is vicariously liable because of the dangerous instrumentality doctrine applicable to automobiles, regardless of the provisions of §§ 440.10 and 440.11. W...

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12 cases
  • Scott & Jobalia Const. Co., Inc. v. Halifax Paving, Inc. for Use and Benefit of U.S. Fidelity and Guar. Co., 87-1052
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • February 2, 1989
    ...by fellow employees under workmen's compensation from negligence inter se. Smith at 424. See also Zenchak v. Ryder Truck Rentals, Inc., 150 So.2d 727 (Fla. 3d DCA 1963); Smith v. Poston Equipment Rentals, 105 So.2d 578 (Fla. 3d DCA If no lease is involved, and the dangerous instrumentality ......
  • Padilla v. Gulf Power Co., SS-24
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 13, 1981
    ...DCA 1963); Petitte v. Welch, 167 So.2d 20 (Fla.3d DCA 1964); Iglesia v. Floran, 394 So.2d 994 (Fla.1981); Zenchak v. Ryder Truck Rentals, 150 So.2d 727, 728 (Fla.3d DCA 1963), cert. discharged, 164 So.2d 200 (Fla.1964). A chattel which is leased to one for use in his business or is turned o......
  • LeSuer v. LeSuer, DD-324
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • September 23, 1977
    ...immunity under the doctrine of Smith v. Ryder Truck Rentals, Inc., 182 So.2d 422 (Fla.1966); Zenchak v. Ryder Truck Rentals, Inc., 150 So.2d 727 (Fla.3d DCA 1963), and Smith v. Poston Equip. Rentals, Inc., 105 So.2d 578 (Fla.3d DCA 1958), which extended immunity to the lessor of a vehicle, ......
  • Smith v. Ryder Truck Rentals Inc., 34627
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 16, 1966
    ...that Ryder was not liable the trial judge relied upon the decision of this court in Zenchak v. Ryder Truck Rentals, Inc., Fla.App.1963, 150 So.2d 727. On that appeal we affirmed a judgment of the trial court holding that the owner of a rental truck was not vicariously liable under the dange......
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