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Parnham v. Carl W. Linder Co.

JUNE 16, 1962.

TED M. PARNHAM, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

CARL W. LINDER CO., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, AND STONER MFG. CORP., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. JOHN S. PETERSEN, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

DOVE, P.J.

Rehearing denied July 31, 1962.

This is an appeal by the defendants, Carl W. Linder Company and Stoner Manufacturing Company, Illinois Corporations, to reverse a judgment rendered against them in favor of the plaintiff, Ted M. Parnham for injuries he sustained when struck by an iron cable which was being used in an attempt to hoist an air conditioner unit from the ground level to the roof of the plant of the Stoner Corporation in Aurora.

The record discloses that an oral agreement had been entered into by Stoner Corporation and the Linder Company by the provisions of which, the Linder Company undertook, on April 27, 1957 to move for the Stoner Company, an air conditioning unit, approximately 8 feet high, 7 feet wide and 6 feet long and weighing 3300 pounds from the ground level to the second story roof of the Stoner plant. To accomplish this the Linder Company used a mobile crane which it owned and which was operated by Ralph Jericho, a hoisting engineer. On this occasion, Glenn Tooley, an iron worker in the employ of the Linder Company, assisted Jericho. Also assisting in the work was John Smith maintenance foreman for the Stoner Company and another of its employees, Don Harner.

The method used by defendants was suggested by employees of the Stoner Company and approved by employees of the Linder Company. Two steel rods, furnished by the Stoner Company, were inserted by an employee of the Linder Company, through the frame which formed the base of the air conditioner. Over the protruding ends of these steel rods, at the four corners of the base of the unit, hooks were placed, and attached to these hooks were cables which were brought together in pyramid fashion over the top of the center of the air conditioning unit and were there hooked on to the cables running from the extremity of the boom.

The plaintiff testified that at the time of the accident he was 43 years of age, was employed by the Stoner Company as a tool and dye grinder and had been in the employ of the Stoner Company since 1941; that after completing his work on the afternoon of April 27, 1957, he punched the time clock at 3:32 p.m., and proceeded to walk from the plant through the compound on the plant premises toward his car, which was parked across the street. He saw the air conditioning unit and stopped to observe the operation of the hoisting crane and stepped to the north side of the unit; that in response to directions given to him by Smith, Stoner's maintenance foreman, he placed a board as a support up against the north side of the unit in order to keep the two cables from rubbing against the unit; that when the cables which were fastened to the hook, tightened, one of the hooks slipped off the rod and he was struck in the left eye and in the nose by the hook; that immediately after being hit he didn't know exactly what was happening but he ran over to the sidewalk holding his eye and was immediately taken to the hospital. He remained in the hospital 10 days and was then taken home where he spent eleven weeks before returning to work.

Glenn Tooley testified that he was an employee of the Linder Company and assisted Ralph Jericho in this operation and inserted the steel rods through the base of the frame of the air conditioner and hooked the cable over the four protruding ends of the rods at the four corners of the unit; that after doing so he stood on the top of the unit to signal the lift; that after he gave the signal to the crane operator he shouted, "stand back"; that when the unit had been raised two or three inches off the ground the hook on the cable, at the northeast corner of the unit, slipped off the end of the steel rod causing the cable to swing up and strike plaintiff in the nose near his right eye. This witness further testified that prior to the accident he did not see the plaintiff at any time, or anyone on the north side of the air conditioner.

Ralph Jericho testified that he was the crane operator, observed plaintiff standing off to his left but did not recall seeing him go over to the unit at any time but heard Tooley's warning to "stand back" just before the lift started.

John Smith, maintenance foreman of the Stoner Company testified that he was on the roof of the building about 25 feet from the edge of the roof, at a point where the unit was to be placed. He observed plaintiff standing in the yard but did not see him do anything in connection with the operation and gave no directions to the plaintiff to do anything in connection with the work that afternoon.

Donald Harner, an employee of the Stoner Company, testified that he was on the south side of the unit and at the direction of John Smith, he was using a board so that the air conditioner unit would not be dented at the top; that prior to the accident, he noticed the plaintiff standing as an onlooker some twenty feet away from the unit but did not recall that he assisted in any way and did not know where he was when the accident occurred.

Norbert Eugene O'Connor testified that he was an employee of the Stoner Company and was looking out of a window in the plant office on the afternoon in question and saw the operation in progress and observed plaintiff place his hand on a board which was against the top of the unit and, with his foot, pushed a hook onto the cable; that when pressure was applied, the bars bent and the hook nearest to the plaintiff came off.

Glen Louis Phillips testified that he observed the plaintiff push the cable on the northeast corner with his foot toward the unit; that plaintiff then stepped back about fifteen feet and was in that position when the cable on the northeast corner "shot off the end of the rod and hit him in the face."

As a result of the injury which plaintiff received he has completely and permanently lost the vision of his left eye. Dr. O.L. Siewert, an eye specialist, examined and treated him immediately after the occurrence and his testimony is that the advantages of two eyes are two fold; that with two eyes a person can judge distances more readily, altho an individual with only one eye can develop a certain amount of depth perceptions from experience; that the second advantage of having two eyes is right and left peripheral vision, which permits one to appreciate objects to the side; that, as presently maintained, plaintiff would require no further treatment for his left eye, altho occasionally such an eye does flare up to cause other degenerative conditions. The Doctor further testified that he did not know whether ...


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