Friday, December 27, 2013

Blair v. Durham case brief

Blair v. Durham case brief summary
134 F.2d 729 (1943)

Appellants, a contractor and its employee, challenged an order of the District Court of the United States for the Middle District of Tennessee entered in favor of appellee injured party who filed a personal injury action against appellants contending he was harmed in an accident upon a project being carried out by the contractor.

The contractor was working on a project for the Collector of Revenue. The injured party was an employee in one of the Collector's offices. She was injured by falling timber in the office. She filed an original complaint alleging the negligence of appellants and their servants and later filed an amendment.


  • The court found the amendment was not barred by the Tennessee Statute of Limitations of one year under Code of Tennessee, § 8595 because the original complaint and the amendment relied upon the same unlawful violation of duty that appellants owed her, making the amendment permissible under Rule 15(a) of the Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.S. following § 723c. 
  • Appellants argued they were entitled to a peremptory instruction because they did not maintain the scaffold from which the timber fell under the loaned servant rule, but the court found that rule was not applicable to the facts. 
  • The contract was required to require safety for those in the construction area of a subcontractor or to provide safety precautions itself, and the question of whether adequate precautions were taken was properly submitted to a jury.

The court affirmed the trial court order.

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