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01/02/69 BUCKS COUNTY CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION v.
January 2, 1969
BUCKS COUNTY CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION
TIDEWATER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bifferato
VINCENT A. BIFFERATO, ASSOCIATE JUDGE
This is an action to recover the cost of repairing a crane damaged while attempting to lift a processing tank. Defendant counterclaims for cost of repairing the processing tank. The parties have stipulated that plaintiff has incurred damages in the amount of $3,293.19 and that defendant has incurred damages in the amount of $3,724.30.
Plaintiff leased a 25-ton crane to defendant at a daily rental of $196. Plaintiff supplied the crane operator and an oiler (helper). The operator and oiler worked on the crane and did all the lifting they were directed to do by defendant's employees.
On September 30, 1965, John Herr, the crane operator, was instructed to lift an eight foot by twenty foot processing tank from the bed of a trailer and place it on the ground next to the trailer. The trailer was approximately three feet from the ground. The crane on this day had a sixty foot boom. Herr was told the weight of the crane would not exceed thirteen tons. The tank was rigged for lifting by defendant's employees and Herr attempted to make the lift after first setting the outriggers and safeties in place. During the course of the lift the tank swayed and the boom on the crane bent, the tank dropped, and the boom landed on the tank. The attempted lift took only five minutes. Although not all of the conditions were perfect, the conditions were as close to ideal as the job permitted.
The Court has reviewed the testimony and exhibits offered by the parties and cannot find for the plaintiff on its claim nor the defendant on its counterclaim.
The defendant offered no witnesses to rebut plaintiff's case or even substantiate the counterclaim; plaintiff's only witness as to the accident was the operator of the crane, John Herr.
Herr's testimony does not indicate that he was negligent in any manner in making the lift nor does his testimony indicate that defendant's employees negligently rigged the tank for lifting. Except for hearsay testimony, neither party proved the weight of the tank. It could have been six and one-half tons or twenty-six tons. Neither party has by a preponderance of the evidence proved the other negligent in either the rigging of the tank or the operation of the crane.
The Court finds for defendant on plaintiff's claim and for plaintiff on defendant's counterclaim. IT IS SO ORDERED.
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