«(Jircuit Court, E. D. Louisiana. December 22, ISSI.)
NEGLIGENCE-STEAM-BoAT-ExPLOSION OF' BOILER.
The explosion of a boiler of a steam-boat, causing injuries, is prima jaci6 of negligence. 2.
Failure to have boiler tested, as a new boiler, after one sheet had been condemned as burnt and had been replaced by a new sheet, was negligence. Hev.
St. § 4418.
3. SAME-CHARTER-PARTy-LIABILITY OF CHARTERERS.
The charterers being the owners of the pro hac "ice, at the time of the explosion, were responsible for their negligence.
In Admiralty. The Bonnie Lee was a passenger and freight steam-boat, making regular trips on the Mississippi and Red rivers, between New Or. leans and Shreveport, Louisiana; was owned by Noah Scoville, and was being run, under charter, by the New Orleans & Red River Transportation Company. Jefferson B. Posey was the second clerk of the boat. On August 7, 1880, in accordance with the usual pub. lie advertisements, the Bonnie Lee left New Orleans, bound for Shreveport. Between 7 and 8 o'clock on the night of the ninth of August, 1880, when near Lenoir point, on Red river, about 85 miles its mouth, the boiler exploded. Posey at the time was sitting ,n the boiler deck, and was, by the exnlosion and the falling timbers, so injured that he died a few hours after he was taken from the wreck, which sank, almost immediately, in 35 feet of water. His widow, in her own right and as tutrix of their minor child, brought this libel in personam against the owner, the charterers, and the master of the boat for damages. It appeared that the boiler was found to be burned, and one of the sheets was taken out and replaced by a new one on the day the boat left New Orleans, the seventh of August, 1881, but after this was done the boiler was not tested. It also appeared that on the night of the eighth of August the boiler was found to be leaking so badly that they were compelled to stop the boat and caulk the boiler. The defences are stated iri the opinion of the court. There was a decree by the district court in favor of libellants for $2,500, and the New Orleans & REid River Transportation Company appealed·
· Reportcd by Joseph P. Hornor, Esq., of the New Orleans bar.
POSEY V. SCOVILLE.
Joseph P. Hornor and Francis W. Baker, for libellant. w. S. Benedict and George Denegre, for defendants. PARDEE, C. J. The evidence in the record leaves no doubt that the boiler of the Bonnie Lee exploded, causing the injuries to and the death of Jefferson B. Posey; nor can there be any doubt that the explosion was caused bJ' a defective boiler. The theory of a snagging"Which tore a hole in the hold of the boat 12 or 15 feet aft of the forward hatch, on the port side, nearly under the forward mud-drum,and broke off the mud-drum leg, and tearing open the timbers of the hull, and causing the bow to be raised up SUddenly very high and then to fall, causing the boat to be hogged amidships, and upsetting the boiler, by the effect and cause whereof said boiler exploded and the vessel sank,"
-Is improbable and wholly unsupported by the evidence. An explosion proved makes a prima fade case of negligence on the part of owners or officers. And 8uch negligence is not repelled by the proof in this case. I do not set much store by the fact appearing in the evidence that after the repairs made on the boiler in this city the boiler leaked and caused delay, and required caulking within 24 holirs after leaving the city. But I do find that the failure to have the boiler tested, the same as a new boiler; after one sheet had been condemned as burnt and had been replaced by a new sheet, was negligence. Leav. ing out of the question the effect of putting new clOth into old garments, I am of the opinion when new sheets are put into an old boiler reason requires the same test of that repaired boiler as would be required of a new boiler; and I take it that under such circumstances such new test is required by a fair construction of the laws of the United States in relation to the inspection of boilers for steam. craft. See section 4418, Rev. St. The Judgment of the court below was against the Red River Transportati(m Company, as the respot;lsible parties under a charter-party, and that company is the appellant here, insisting that, although·they were running the boat in the interests of their company, yet they were not such charterers as made them liable for negligence run. ning the boat, as they claim that Noah Scoville, the real was appointing the officers of the boat. The evidence shows a charter by Scoville to the New Orleans & Red River Transportation Company of date twenty-seventh of June, 1877, of the Bonille Lee, for one year, containing the following clauses:
"The New Orleans & Red River Transportation Companysbsll have the privilege of appointing the captain, officers, and men of said steam-boat, and ahall have 'full and absolute control of said steam-boat as to time when and how !lhe shall be employed during the exiatence of this charter. . "At the expiration of this charter the said transportation company shall have the privilege of running it for one year, and of running it continuously at the expiration of each additional charler period,at its option."
The evidence shows that since the charter the transportation company has been running the boat on the terms in the charter,'and that every year there has been an. express or tacit renewal of the contract by the transportation company. On the very trip she was she was advertised, loaded, and sailed under and for account of the transportation company. That the owner, Scoville, actually appointed the officers is of no weight, as it was done by ,the consent of the charterers. There can be no doubt that at the time of the injuries inflicted on Posey the transportation company were the owners pro hac vice, and are responsible for their ',' " The decree of the distriat oourtwill be aJIirmtlu. by proper decree entered in this court .
and others ".VALLETTEDRY:DoOK.-
(District Oourt. E. D. Louisiana.. January 3, 1882, )
ADM:11tALT1' AND MARITIME JUR1SPICTION. This jurisdiction, 80 far as relate.s to sUbject-ma;tter,
meana that jnnedlctlon which had been and was being exercised in admiral,ty in this country prior to and' at the adoption of the constitution, and with reference to locality, comprises the navigable waters of the natiOn, as well aathe high seas.
1.' BAMEo-SALVAGE-DRY-DoCB:. A claim for the salvage of a dry-dock-a lioating dock capable of elevation or depression in ,the water by means of pumping water in or out, designed and used to be sunk'i:mder vessels, andthlm pumped out so as to become dry, leav. Ing the enclosed vessel in a position to be inspectell and repaired, and incapable of self- propulsion, not capable of being used for any purpose of navigation, and permanently moored in the Mississippi river by means of enormous chains -is not within the admiralty andmaritinie jurisdiction of the courts olthe United States, '
.Actipn ,ill rem, for .salvage. ,The. libel alleged that the Vallette drydock, lying in New Orleans, 0 11,the right, bank of the river,
*Reported by Joseph P. Hornor, Esq" of the New Orleans bar. See same case on appeal, 16 Fed, Rep, 924.