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Mesman v. Crane Pro Services, a Division of Konecranes, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
409 F.3d 846 (2005)


Facts

Konecranes, Inc. (Konecranes) (defendant) renovated a crane for Infra-Metals, a steel-products manufacturer. The crane was used for unloading sheets of steel from boxcars. The crane had been operated from a cab on top of the roof of a plant. Konecranes altered the design of the crane so that the crane could be operated via a remote control. As a result, after the renovation, the cab was no longer functional. However, the cab remained close enough to the boxcars being unloaded that the crane could hit the cab while unloading steel, causing the steel to crash to the ground. To protect against this situation, Konecranes put an emergency-stop button on the remote control, which, when pressed, would stop the movement of the crane immediately. John Mesman (plaintiff) and Van Til worked for Infra-Metals. Mesman loaded steel sheets onto the crane, and Van Til operated the crane’s remote control. Van Til saw that the crane was about to hit the inoperative cab, but instead of hitting the stop button, mistakenly hit the down button, which did not stop the movement of the crane immediately. The crane hit the cab, causing the steel to fall onto and seriously injure Mesman. Mesman brought suit against Konecranes. The jury found Konecranes to be negligent for its failure to remove the cab. The trial judge set aside the jury verdict and entered a judgment for Konecranes. Mesman appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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