Wimes v. Eaton Corporation

In Wimes v. Eaton Corporation, 573 F. Supp. 331 (E.D. Wisconsin 1983), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin was faced with a situation similar to the situation in Shorey v. Lincoln Pulp & Paper Company, Inc., 511 A.2d 1076 (Maine 1986). The plaintiff was at work in a foundry when he was struck in the face by a hook attached to a machine. He suffered severe injuries, and wanted to determine whether the machine had malfunctioned. When he asked for permission to inspect the machine, his employer denied that request. The Wimes Court stated that, because the then applicable Federal Rules did not expressly provide for or prohibit inspection of a non-party's premises, the equitable bill of discovery was available to the plaintiff. Id. at 336-337. The court remanded the case to the state court from which it had been removed for that court to determine whether a bill of discovery was warranted under the circumstances. Id. at 337.