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Dudley Sports Co. v. Schmitt

279 N.E.2d 266 (1972)

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Dudley Sports Co. v. Schmitt

Indiana Court of Appeals

279 N.E.2d 266 (1972)

Facts

Danville High School purchased an automatic baseball-pitching machine from Dudley Sports Company (Dudley) (plaintiff). The machine was manufactured by another company but marketed by Dudley and bore a tag reading “Dudley Automatic Pitching Machine Dudley Sports Company, Inc.” At the high school, a school administrator and coach uncrated and assembled the machine. The delivery crate contained assembly instructions and a general warning tag referring to operating instructions, but the crate did not include any operating instructions. The assembled machine was placed in a storage room, unplugged. Unknown to student Joseph Schmitt (defendant), the pitching machine had a metal throwing arm, which, if in the “ten o’clock” position, could activate even if the machine was unplugged. The arm could activate with any slight vibration or change in atmospheric conditions. Schmitt entered the storage room to sweep, and the throwing arm activated, severely injuring Schmitt. Schmitt sued Dudley, alleging negligence in design and manufacturing. A jury found in favor of Schmitt, and the trial court entered judgment accordingly. Dudley appealed, arguing that it did not manufacture the product.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Buchanan, J.)

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