April 12, 1907

Laborer Washed Optic in Water
Impregnated With Dynamite.

John McCann became an employe of the city in 1902 as a member of the water works department. He had at the time only one good eye, the sight of the other having been destroyed and instead of a seeing pupil he had a glass substitute. After working hours one day he discovered, by the aid of a looking glass and the sight of his good eye, that his artificial eye was covered with dirt and he took it out of the socket and gave it a thorough washing in a bucket of water, which it was learned later had been used to wash off several sticks of dynamite. Following this act on the part of Mr. McCann, his other eye became blind and he filed suit against the city for $25,000, alleging that the dynamite washed in the bucket poisoned the water and thus caused the loss of his second eye.

After a trial lasting the entire day Judge McCune, in whose division of the circuit court the case was heard, instructed the jury to return a verdict in favor of the city. He held that the city was not responsible for the water in which its employes washed their glass eyes. The case has been in the courts for several years, the city in the last trial being represented by Charles Bush, assistant city counselor.