100 Years Ago in Spokane: Child’s fall down Hutton elevator shaft gets new trial

May 6, 2019

A judge granted a new trial in the civil case against Levi W. Hutton.

He was sued by the family of Virginia Getty, a 6-year-old who fell 75 feet in an elevator shaft in the Hutton Building the previous October.

A jury quickly rejected a claim of $20,000 after only 20 minutes of deliberation on April 23.

Attorney Frank T. Post, who represented the girl, argued that one of the jurors was not an American citizen. He also claimed that three of the five women on the jury “were of mature years and had never had children.”

“He claimed this had a direct bearing on the decision, as one of them has a positive dislike for children,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported.

Testimony at the trial differed on whether the girl would fully recover from her injuries.

From the labor beat: Spokane’s police chief was bringing in reserve officers to deal with “threatening aspects” of the teamsters and chauffeurs strike.

An argument led a worker at Diamond Ice and Fuel company to pull a gun on a union member at Sprague and Bernard, but they were friends and police opted not to pursue the matter after they shook hands.

Union officials said the decision to bring in reserve officers appeared to be an effort to discredit strikers.

“There will be no call for police reserves on our account. It is ridiculous. Our men may ‘kid’ a strikebreaker about ‘scabbing,’ but there will be no disorder,” said E.N. Nash, acting secretary of the union.

From the victory beat: Spokane was taking another break to celebrate more troops returning from World War I by train.

“Spokane’s street canyons will resound tomorrow morning to the tramp of feet of 342 veterans,” the Chronicle reported. A parade through downtown, a luncheon at the Davenport Hotel and automobile rides and movies were on the schedule.

Jim Kershner is on sabbatical.