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Burke v. Sky Climber

JULY 23, 1973.

ANITA BURKE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS ADMRX. OF THE ESTATE OF MARK JOSEPH BURKE, PLAINTIFF,

v.

SKY CLIMBER, INC., DEFENDANTS. SKY CLIMBER, INC., THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

THE CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. BEN SCHWARTZ, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE GOLDBERG DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Anita Burke (plaintiff) brought action, individually and as administrator of the estate of her late husband, against Sky Climber, Inc. The latter filed a third-party action against the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). On motion of CHA, the court dismissed the third-party complaint, as amended. Sky Climber appeals.

Plaintiff's amended complaint against Sky Climber alleged that the decedent was employed as a tuck-pointer by CHA. Sky Climber was in the business of manufacturing scaffolding equipment and systems. While decedent was performing his work on a building owned by CHA, a cable on the scaffold, manufactured by Sky Climber, broke and caused his death.

Counts I and III of plaintiff's amended complaint charged Sky Climber with negligence in:

A. Designing, manufacturing, assembling and distributing a scaffold system so as to cause death of decedent;

B. Failing to equip said scaffold with safe and adequate cables;

C. Failing adequately to inspect the scaffold before selling same to CHA;

D. Failing adequately to inspect the cables;

E. Failing adequately to test said scaffold before selling to CHA;

F. Failing adequately to test the cables on the scaffold system before selling same to CHA;

G. Failing to warn decedent of the defective condition of the cables;

H. Failing to equip the scaffold system with safe and adequate cable guides.

Count II of plaintiff's amended complaint against Sky Climber alleged a strict liability theory in that the scaffold manufactured, distributed and sold by Sky Climber was defective and unreasonably dangerous and caused decedent's death.

The second amended third-party complaint filed by Sky Climber seeking indemnity from CHA alleged that Sky Climber had manufactured and sold scaffolding equipment to CHA. This equipment had been out of the possession and control of Sky Climber for several years prior to the accident and was in the sole possession and control of CHA. Sky Climber had furnished instructions to CHA concerning proper maintenance and care of the equipment. It alleged that CHA ...


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