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Teal v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
728 F.2d 799 (6th Cir. 1984)


Richard Teal (plaintiff) was employed by Daniel Construction Company (Daniel Construction). Daniel Construction was hired by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) (defendant) to dismantle and remove hydraulic bailers from one of DuPont’s plants. The bailers were located above a bailer pit, which was accessible by a ladder affixed to the wall. While working at DuPont’s plant, Teal fell from the ladder to the floor of the bailer pit. Teal sued DuPont in a negligence action for his injuries and sought a jury instruction on the issue of negligence per se. Teal argued that DuPont was negligent per se because the ladder did not satisfy federal regulations established pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), 29 U.S.C. §§ 651-678. The regulations required that employers ensure a clearance of at least seven inches between a ladder and a wall. DuPont’s ladder did not comply with this requirement. The district court refused to instruct the jury on negligence per se. The jury found in favor of DuPont. Teal appealed, arguing that the district court’s refusal to issue an instruction on negligence per se constituted reversible error.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Celebrezze, J.)

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