The remainder of the exceptions refer to the allegations in the bill as to the litigation which has been had over this patent, some suits having been commenced in regard to other patents involving the principle of the irreversible current, and other cases having been upon the patent directly in question. It seems to me very proper for the complainant to set out this feature of his case, because in this circuit we are, by a rule of comity, endeavoring to observe and follow the decisions which have been made in reference to the same patent, or even upon kindred questions, in other circuits. None of the objections are well taken, and all of them are overruled.
THE GARDEN CITY.t
In re Petition of EAST RIVER FERRY Co.
(DiaUrWt OQurt, S. D. NCUI York.
SHIPPING - LIMITATION OF LIABILITY - VALID UNDER POWER OIl' CONGREsS OVER ADMIRALTY AND MARITIME CAUSES-CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.
The act of March 3, 1851, (sections 4282--4289,) in limitation of liabilIty, so far as applicable to marine torts or to other subjects of maritime jurisdiction, is within the constitutioual power of congress, Independent of its relation to foreign or interstate commerce. Such power is co-extensive with the tp'ant of the judicial power "to all cases of admiralty and maritime JurisdictIon," and of all necessary legislative power in regulating the remedies under that jurisdiction; following The Seawanhaka, 5 Fed. Rep. 599.
Horses and trucks, which are taken aboard a ferry-boat by their drivers, who are passengers. and remain in their charge upon the trip, are not "merchandise," within the meaning of section 4282, Rev. St.
ST.-"MERCHANDIIilE"-HoRSES AND TRUCKS.
SAME-SECTION 4288-JURISDICTION-PRACTICE-AMOUNT 01' CLAIMS.
In proceedings to limit ship-owners' liability, under section 4283, it is not necessary to aver in the petition, or to prove, that the claims against the vessel are in excess of 4er value, as a condition of the jurisdiction of this court to entertain the proceeding. Section 4289, Rev. St., provides that the act limiting ship-owners' liability shall not apply to vessels "used in rivers or inland navigation." Held, that the "East River," so called, is not a "river," but a mere gut or strait, and belongs to the "coast waters" of the country, as distinguished from "inland navigation;" and that navigation on the East river is therefore not included in the above exception.
SAME- SECTION 4289- EXCEPTION-" RIVERS "-" INLAND NAVIGATION"-EAST RIVER-COAST WATERS.
FERRy-BOATS-PRECAUTIONS AGAINST FIRE-POWERS OF STEAM-BOAT SPECTORS.
Under sections 4426 and 4470, Rev. St., the steam-boat inspectors may require ferry-boats to be provided with the same precautions against fire. so far as applicable, that are expressly provided in reference to any other steam vessels carrying passengers; and when the boat passes inspection on the basis of haVing a steam-pump provided in accordance with section 4471, the boat is bound to maintain it in the condition required by that section. Various sections of the Revised Statutes in regard to steam vessels considered in their application to ferry-boats. by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., of the New York bar.
'1'HE GARDEN CITY.
SAJm-STATElIENT OF CABE-SECTION
4471, REV. ST.-INSUFFICIENT HOBE. Fire broke out in the "center-house" of the ferry-boat Garden City while on one of her regular trips between Roosevelt street and Hunter's point, in the East river. The hose belonging to the boat's fire-pump was coiled and kinked, and without a nozzle attached, and before the fire was extinguished several horses and trucks on the ferry-boat were destroyed. The evidence indicated that the fire might have been checked at once if the hose had been stretched out with the nozzle on. ,Section 4471 provides that "every steamer permitted by her certificate to carry as many as 50 passengers, or upwards, shall be provided with a steam fire-pump, * * * having at least two pipes, * * * to which pipes there shall be attached good and suitable hose, properly provided with nozzles, and kept in good order and ready for immediate service. " Held, that the above provisions had been adopted, and made legally applicable to the Garden City by act of the parties. and under the powers conferred upon inspectors by sections 4426,4470, Rev. St., and that it was not a compliance, either with the statute; or with the demands of reasonable prudence and care for the safety of the lives of passengers in the daily exigencies of ferry-boats on the East river, not to keep the hose stretched out and free from coils and kinks, with the nozzle on, near the overheated parts of the boat like the center-house, where fire is most likely to occur, so as to be literally "ready for immediate service, " and that the Garden City was chargeable with negligence in this respect, for which the ferry-boat was liable.
On the thirteenth of December, 1883, while the ferry-boat Garden City was on one of her regular trips from Roosevelt street, New York, to Hunter's point, a trip three and one-half miles in length, a fire was discovered in the "center-house," near the smoke stack, when about opposite Market street. The boat was stopped as soon as possible, her engines were reversed, and in a few minutes she regained the end of her slip at Roosevelt street. The wind was strong from S. S. W., and the fire spread with such rapidity that several horses and trucks, with their harness and equipments, were destroyed. There were but few passengers on the boat, and none were seriously injured. Shortly afterwards two of the owners of the horses and trucks commenced suit in the supreme cOllrt of the state to recover their damages, one for $3,400, and one for $525, on the ground of negligence on the part of the Garden City. The Garden City was run principally as a ferry-boa,t. But at Hunter's point she made connections with the Long Island railroad system, and in the transport of passengers, baggage, and express matter, in connection with those roads to and through New York, she was, to some extent, a link in a continuous line of interstate commerce. A petition to limit liability was afterwards filed in this court, pursuant to the act of March 3, 1851, (sections 4282-4289, Rev. St.,) in which the Garden City was valued at $30,000, and a bond for that sum was executed by the petitioners. Notice for the presentment of claims was duly published. Although some other damages were inflicted, only the two claims above mentioned were presented and proved j and the case has been brought to trial upon the averments of the petition denying any negligence or liability on the part of the petitioners, and also upon the exceptions and answer on the part of the claimants above named. The claimants deny the petitioner's allegations' of want of negligence; and, in addition, they contend that the court has
no jurisdiction of the proceeding, because the petition does not allege that the losses were in excess of the value of the boat, and also because, under the last section of the act of March 8, 1851, (sections 4282-4289, Rev. St.,) the ferry-boat in question being used solely upon the East river and, as alleged, in "inland navigation," she is excluded from the operation of the act. Shipman, Barlow, Larocque et Choate, for petitioner. Oharles N. Judson, opposed.
BROWN, J. Without attempting to discuss minutely the several interesting and important questions presented by this case, I shall indicate, as briefly as possible, the reasons for the conclusions to which, after much consideration, I have come. 1. Although the Garden City, through her connections with the Long Island Railroad Company, had some relations in her navigation to interstate commerce, these relations were slight and comparatively unimportant. In the recent Oase of Vessel Owners' Towing 00., 26 Fed. Rep. 169, 170, it was assumed that the power of congress over the subject of limitation of liability "is to be found only in the provisions of section 8, art. 1, of the constitution, 'which authorizes it to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states ; and if the vessel is not one employed in the business of interstate or foreign commerce, then she is not within the terms of the act of congress, and her owners cannot claim the benefit of this provision." The language above quoted was doubtless used by the learned judge in reference to the special facts of that case, which did not constitute a marine tort. Thus limited·, it is no doubt correct; but as a general proposition, applicable to all the cases covered by the act of March 3, 1851, the above quoted concession to those objecting to the proceedings is, I think, too broad, and without due consideration of the importance of the question, or of the express reservation of any opinion on that point by the supreme court in the case of Lord v. Steam-ship 00., 102 U. S. 541, 545. The question was carefully considered by my learned predecessor in the case of The Seawanhaka, (In re Long Island Transp. 00.,) 5 Fed. Rep. 599, 608, 618. It was there held that the power of congress to legislate upon a limitation of the liability of vessels and their owners for marine torts was within those clauses of the constitution which extend the judicial power "to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction," and which authorize congress "to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the power vested in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof." See Providence, etc., 00, v. Hill Manttf'g 00., 109 U. S. 589; S. C. 3 Sup. Ct. Rep. 379, 617. There can be no question that the act in limitation of liability, in so'far as it respects a liability for marine torts, is legislation upon subjects within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. The ad-