LABOR: Record Damages

A door opening on nothing last week involved John Pierpont Morgan in a record damage suit in Manhattan. A hammer dropping from loose fingers last week involved Andrew William Mellon in a record damage suit in Pittsburgh. Observers wondered whether damage suits are not greatly conditioned by the fame and fortune of the defendants.

Two years ago Albert Fieri, 19, a lather, was working on the new Equitable Trust Building, partly Morgan-owned. A plasterer sent Fieri to the 16th floor for materials. Fieri opened a door, stepped out into an air intake shaft...