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Fritz v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co.

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County

July 19, 1950

FRITZ
v.
E. I. DU PONT DE NEMOURS & CO. et al.

Page 257

[45 Del. 428] William E. Taylor, Jr., of Wilmington, for plaintiff.

Hugh M. Morris and Alexander L. Nichols (of Morris, Steel, Nichols & Arsht), all of Wilmington, for defendant E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.

David F. Anderson (of Southerland, Berl & Potter), all of Wilmington, for defendant Pennsylvania R. Co.

TERRY, Judge.

This is an action of tort to recover for personal injuries alleged to have been sustained by the plaintiff at the hands of the defendants. The complaint as originally filed is as follows:

'1. Plaintiff is a resident of the City of Wilmington, State of Delaware.

'2. Defendant E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co. is a corporation of the State of Delaware, and the Defendant Pennsylvania Railroad Co. is a corporation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

'3. Plaintiff is an employee of the Defendant Pennsylvania Railroad Co.

[45 Del. 429] '4. On May 3, 1948, while Plaintiff was employed by the Defendant Pennsylvania Railroad Co. and acting in the course of and in the scope of his employment with this Defendant on the property of this Defendant at the Wilmington Yard, Edge-moor, Delaware, he was overcome by a concentration of chlorine fumes which escaped in some manner unknown to the Plaintiff from the plant operated by the Defendant E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. at Edge Moor, Delaware.

'5. The Defendant E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co. in using chlorine gas in its operations assumed a duty to the Plaintiff and to all others in handling an inherently dangerous gas to take the necessary precautions to prevent the escape of this dangerous substance in such a manner that it would become dangerous or injurious to persons coming in contact with it. This Defendant failed to fulfill this duty in that:

'(a) It failed to use ordinary care and caution in handling this chlorine gas and in restricting it to the Defendant's premises.

'(b) This Defendant failed to warn the Plaintiff and other employees of the Defendant Pennsylvania Railroad Co. and the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. that such dangerous gases were being used and might escape from the operation of the said Defendant E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co. and thereby cause serious injury to persons subjected to them.

'6. The Defendant Pennsylvania Railroad Co. in employing the Plaintiff assumed a duty to furnish him a safe place to work and to warn him of any dangers necessarily inherent to his work. This Defendant failed to fulfill these duties to the Plaintiff in that:

'(a) It failed to use ordinary care and caution to provide the Plaintiff a safe place in which to work.

'(b) It failed to warn the Plaintiff of the dangers inherent in his employment with the Defendant.

[45 Del. 430] '(c) It failed to use reasonable care and caution to discover and warn its employees of any dangers to which they would be subjected while working in its ...


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