the agents of the charterers to sign the bills of lading, provided the words "or as near thereunto as she can safely get, and always lay and discharge afloat," were interlined, and their agents, after only sufficient delay to communicate with the charterers, having agreed to accept the bills of lading so amended, that this was a compromise, and constituted a new agreement from which the master could not recede. But to my mind this was not a compromise. The bills of lading, before the proposed amendment, expressed that they were subject to all the conditions of the charter-party, and the interlineation was merely putting there a portion of the very language of the charter. Nothing was done, in consequence of the proposition of the master, which in the slightest way altered the position of either party. The master seems to have been persuaded that the interlineation would be sufficient to call attention to the fact that he objected to the port, and could not go there, but subsequently he concluded that as he knew he could not safely undertake to deliver the cargo at the port, nor near it, he ought not to sign a bill·of lading purporting that he was going to attempt it. In this I think he was right. In my judgment the libel filed by the charterers must be dismissed, and there must be a. decree ill favor of the owuers 01 the ship.
THE WILLIAM CRANE.
(DUtriet OO'U'1't, D. MauaMuBett,.
March 5, 1882.)
CoUlUlEIl- DuTY OF
s..w.:. VESSEL -lNT:imSECTING
Where a steamer and a schooner were approaching each other in nearly opposite courses, and the schooner. kept her .course and a collision eDlIued,the Iteamer is in fawt for not keeping out of the way. .
J. O. Dodge it Sons, for libellants. Marse d Stone, for claimants.
.NELsoN, D. J. This isa libel for damage by collision, filed by the owners, master, and crew of. the schooner LucyK. Cogswell (with whom are joined the underwriters of her cargo) against the steamship William Crane. The collision took place between 2 and 8 o'clock of the morning of J nly 31, 1881, off Cape Poglie,' near the entrance of Vineyard sonnd, the weather at the time being clear, and ilia wind
THE WILLIAM CBANE.
blowing a strong breeze from S. W. The schooner, bound eastward and heading E. S. E., was proceeding under her mainsail,.foresail, and jib at a speed of nine knots. The steamer was bound westward, and was steaming on a COUl'se very nearly opposite to that of the schooner, at a speed of ten knots. The schooner struck the starboard side of the steamer just aft of the pilot-house, and received injuries which caused her to sink in about 20 minutes. The steamer suffered no injury. The defence of the steamer is that. the schooner changed her course, and did not show a lighted torch, As to the second defence, I am of opinion that the claimants have failed to make it out. The men on the steamer say that they did not see any lighted torch shown on the schooner. But, on the other hand; those on the schooner swear that one was shown. I J;nust place,more reliance upon this affirmative testimony than upon that on the other side, which is merely negative. The libellants claim that the schooner kept her course, and made no change of helm until the moment of collision, when the helm was put to starboard to avoid as much as possible the effect of the blow, but that the . change of helm was much too late to affect the vessel's course. This is true, if the testimony of the master, mate, steward, and two seamen, who were all the persons on board the schooner, is to be believed. They all testify that no change of course was made. The account given by the mim on the steamer is that she was passing well to windward of the schooner, under slow speed, and the schooner had got well abreast of the steamer's bow, when the schooner made a sudden shear to windward, and ran directly into the steamer's side. The decision of the case turns wholly upon the question whether the schooner kept her course. If she did, then there is no possible excuse for the steamer's running into her. The night waa clear, and' the schooner was seen, or should have been seen, from the steaIUer in ample season to avoid her. The account given by the steamer's men of this affair strikes. me as highly improbable. The' master and mate oltha and experienced seamen, Were on deck watching the approach of the steamer, and the mate was at the helm. What motive could have them, in such a situation, to luff and bring their vessel against thesteam6r, I am unable to conjecture. Such an .actwould indicate. the grossest jgnorance, or else a· wyful and reckless purpose to imperil both property aIJ.d life. No imputation is made by the claimants, and is not to be believed who have for a moment. I am satisfied that the this of the a(,lcident are mistaken.
It is much more probable that the accident was caused by the steamer's failing to make sufficient allowance for the rapid rate of speed at which the two vessels were nearing each other. They were certainly within less than a mile of each other when the schooner's lights were first seen from the steamer. From the testimony of the captain of the steamer the collision occurred within less than three minutes after they were seen. It also appears that other sailing-vessels were near the schooner at the time, and it is possible that their lights were confused with those of the schooner. But, at all events, I am satisfied there was no change of course by the schoonel'. That being so, the steamer was bound at her peril to keep out of her way. Interlooutory decree for the libellants.
BoSE '17. STEPHENS
CONDIT TEANSP. Co.
(Cirouit Oourt, 8, D. New York, I,
NEGLIGENCE-ExPLOSION OF BOILER-PRESUMPTTON,
Negligence may be inferred from the fact of the explosion ofa boiler. whether there be any relation between the owner of the boiler and the party injureuor not. The presumption originates from the nature of the act, and not from the nature of the relations between the parties.
2.SAHE-BURDEN OF PROOF.
Where an accident happens, as in the bursting of a hoiler, in theahsence of explanatory circumstances, negligence will be presumed, and the burden is caa\ upon the owner to disprove it.
Instructions to the jury must be considered in their iiltegrity, and not in isolated parts.
NEW TRIAL-ExCESSIVE DAMAGES.
Where the verdict of the jury, in a case of damages for personal in'uries from negligence, is not so obviously extravagant as to indicate prejudice or partiality, it will not be disturbed.
Ohauncey Shaffer, for plaintiff. Butler, Stillman J: Hubbard, for defendant. WALLACE, D. J. The plaintiff was injured by the explosion of a steam-boiler which was being used by the defendant to propel a vessel chartered by the defendant to others to be for the transportation of passengers and freight. If the explosion resulted either from the carele,38uess of the employes of the defendant in charge of