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A plaintiff is bound to exercise that care and attention in and about the business he is engaged in, that prudent, discreet, and sensible men are accustomed to bestow under like circumstances. The utmost possible care is not required.
In 1861, the manufacturer made a cast-iron balance wheel for use with a circular saw. The wheel, the defect of which was visible, was sold to a third party, who subsequently leased the same to the decedent in 1864. Two years later, the decedent was using the wheel to saw wood when the wheel burst, which caused a fragment to hit the decedent, killing him. The representative filed an action under the Act of 1847, ch. 450, for wrongful death, asserting that the manufacturer sold the wheel with a large hole in its rim, occasioned by negligence in casting it, and that this defect caused the bursting that killed the decedent. The jury found for the representative. The appellate court reversed and ordered a new trial, holding that the manufacturer was not liable for a third-party's use of a piece of machinery the manufacturer sold to another, having pointed out the defect. On appeal, the representative contended that the wheel was a dangerous instrumentality.
Under the circumstances, was the manufacturer negligent and could be held liable for the decedent’s death?
The court affirmed the reversal, holding that the wheel was not a dangerous instrumentality. The court also held that the manufacturer was not negligent because the bursting of the wheel was not the natural result or the expected consequence of its manufacture.