were gilngoqhe stevedore; paid anel employed' by hhn. But for the negligence of the one, perhaps tQe action of the other, the accident might not have happened. The libelant was the fellow-laborer with these men, and their negligence was one of the risks of his employment. He assumed this, and is affected ,by it. Hough v. Railway Co., 100 U. S. 213; The City of Alexandria, 17 Fed. Rep. 390; The Harold, 21 Fed. Rep. 428. This, however, does not exonerate the ship. Even in the narrow administration of the common-law courts the negligence of an employe will not excuse the common master for an injury to a fellow-servant if the master himself was negligent, (Railway v. Cummings, 106 U. S. 700, 1 Sup. Ct. Rep. 493;) and in the broad and liberal administration of adniiralty cohtribtitory negligence on the part of the libelant himself would not exonerate the ship. This being so, still the negligence for which libelant would have been directly responsible, and the negligence of a fellow-servant, the risk of which he assumed, will diminish the amount of damages to be awarded to him. This, then, is the last question in the case. The libelant has been disabled, in some respects; for the most duty of a longshoreman, permanently disabled. With his experience and !'kill, he can still make a living. He has been confined to his bed,-still is,-and has lost much time. I award him as damages the sum of $1,500, not including his physician's fees. Towardsfhese I allow him 875. Let, a decree be entered accordingly; respondent to pay costs.
THE ST. JOHNS. I
THE GEN. ROSECRANS · HEATH V. THE ST. JOHNS AND THE GEN. ROSECRANS.
(Df8trict Court, S. D. New York.
April 6, 1888.)
A vessel that agrees by signal to pass ahead of another vessel, and thereafter stops without reasonable necessity, is in fault if collision ensues.
As the steam-tug Ro, with a canal-boat on her starboard side, was turning from the North into the East river. another tug. the D., being a little astern, and going in the llaDie direction, she observed the steamer St. J. up on her starboard haml. She signaled her intention to pass ahead of the St. J .. to which the latter, by whistles, agreed; and the St. J. at the same time agreed to go ahead of the D. As the vessels drew nearer. the R., fearing that she would not clear the St. J., stopped and reversed. As soon as this was perceived by the J., Ahe also stopped and reversed, but collided with the R.'s tow, striking it about 10 feet from her stern. Had the R. kept on, she would have cleared the St. J. by at least 100 feet, the same distance that the St. J. passed.ahead of the D. All the vessels were moving slowly. and on direct lines. Held,' that there was no reasonable' or apparent necessity for the stop.ping of the R,. contrary to the agreement under which both had been acting. and such stopping was the fault that caused the collision; that the St. J. owed no duty to ,the R., except the duty of not thwarting her in keeping out of the
-Reported by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., of the New York bar
way, and. except that, after risk of colllsion appeared through the Ro's fault, ihe St. J. was bound to do what was possible to avoid her, which she did. The R. was therefore held solely liable for the damage. 8. It is not culpable navigation in the harbor of New York for vessels of moderate size, moving at moderate speed, upon direct lines. in the daytime and in clear weather, to shape their courses so as to pass 100 feet from each other.
MARGIN IN CROSSING.
Ca?'Perl1fJr « Mosher, for libelant. R. D. }Jenedict, for the St. Johns. Frank D. Sturges, for the Gen. Rosecrans.
BROWN, J. On the 4th of January, 1887, at about 10 o'clock in the morning, as the large side-wheel passenger steamer St. Johns was making her daily trip from Sandy Hook to New York, she came in collision with the libelant's canal-boat S. A. Pyatt, off Castle Garden, striking with her stem the starboard side of the canal-boat about 10 feet from her stern, and making a deep wound, which caused large damage to the boat and cargo; to recover which this libel was filed. The canal-boat was in tow along the starboard side of the steain-tug Gen. Rosecrans, bound from near the Pennsylvania Ferry dock, Jersey City, to pier 34, East river. The tide was ebb, and the tug and tow going at the rate of four or five knots. They were moving across the river, and were probably heading about two or three points down river, so as to round ·the Battery within about 400 or 500 feet of the shore. The tug had the St. Johns on her starboard hand, and was therefore bound to take proper steps to keep out of the way. She had given a signal of two whistles, to which the St. Johns had responded with two, -importing that the tug should go ahead of the St. Johns. For the tug it is contended that the steamer, contrary to her signal, improperly sheered to starboard and .. across the course of the tug, which the steamer denies. Thelatterclaims that the collision was wholly owing to the tug's stopping and backing shortlY before the collision; instead of keeping on her course, as she should have done. The case has to be considered, however, with reference to the presence of another steam-tug, the Delaware, whiuh, soon after the Gen. Rosecrans left Jersey City, also left the next below, with a car-float about 200 feet long upon ber starboard side. She also was bound for the East river, and followed a· course about parallel with that of the Gen. Rosecrans, and from 100 to 300 feet below her in the river. Her speed was greater than that of the Rosecrans, so that at the time the last signals were exchanged hel'float had got nearly abreast of the latter's stern. When the two tugs were about one-third of the way across the river from the Jersey shore, the master of the St. Johns, then abreast of Fort William, and probably about one-fourth of a mile from it, observed them from two to three points on his port bow; the Rosecrans being then considerably in advance of the Dela.ware. When he was a little way above the fort, the Rosecrans blew him two whistles, and then the Delaware blew to him two. He replied to the Delaware with one, to whic4 the Delaware answered with
THE ST. JOHNS.
onei thus agreeing that the St. Johns should pass ahead of the Delaware. The Gen. Rosecrans then repeated her former signal of two whistles to the St. Johns. to which the latter replied with two, and received an answering signal oftwo whistles from the Rosecrans; and it was thus agreed that the Rosecrans was to go ahead of the St. Johns. By these signals, about which there was no misunderstanding, the St. Johns was to pass between the two tugs, i. e. ,ahead of the Delaware and astern of the Rose- · crans. She was heading nearly up the river, probably a little to the right; and, being bound for her usual landing place, pier 8, North river, her course was, I have no doubt, directed so as to pass as usual within 100 yards of pier 1. The St. Johns, until she passed Fort William, was going at her full speed of about 13 or 14 knots. Upon receiving the single whistle from the Delaware, and when about 300 yards distant, as the master estimates, her engines were slowed, and her speed was soon reduced to about 5 or 6 knots. The Delaware reversed her engines as soon as it.was understood that the St. Johns was to go ahead of her, and her head swung around somewhat to the northward, so that the St. Johns passed about 100 feet to the eastward of her. The pilot of the Delaware testifies that the St. Johns sheered a little to the eastward in order to pass him, and that that was necessary to clear the Delaware. The pilot of the Rosecrans also testified that the St. Johns sheMed to the eastward, so as to point to his bows when only 200 or 300 feet below him, in consequence of which, believing collision to be inevitable, he ordered his engines reversed, and gave notice to the persons on the canalboat of the danger, leaving the pilot-house and going aft for that purpose. The master of the St. Johns denies that the S1. Johns sheered to the eastward at all, or that any sheer was necessary in order to avoid the Delaware; and, as the latter was herself swinging to port, the St. Johns would seem to those on the Delaware to go to starboard, though she did not change at all. No reliance can be placed on the supposition of the pilot of the Delaware under such circumstances. Any such sheer is positively denied by the witnesses for the St. Johns, and is not corroborated by any further testimony, or by any apparent necessity or probability; and it must therefore be regarded as not proved. As soon as the Rosecrans was observed to be reversing, the St. Johns reversed full speed,;gradually ported her wheel, and must have been nearly stopped at the collision. She struck the canal-boat, as above stated, about 10 feet from her stern. The pilot of the Rosecrans testifies that shortly before the collision the engines were again ordered ahead, and the engineer says he got one or t'Vo turns ahead before he felt the blow. The master of the St. Johns testifies that the bells to go ahead were rung on the Gen. Rosecrans only at the moment of collision, and that, when the vessels struck, the tow was substantially at rest; and that his stern remained imbedded in her side for some little interval, until he backed out, without any further breaking or tearing of the wood-work, as would had the tow then had any forward motion. have There is considerable difference as to the place of collision. Most of the witnesses for the Gen. Rosecrans put it abreast of Castle Garden, and
about 200 it, i: e., inSidedf:ihe line of the The 'master 'locates it a,bOut 400 yards S.'W: by W.frOln the end 'ofpier A, some 400 feet outside of thEdineOf piei' 1, which would 00 abO'Ut450yardsfrOln Castle Gar'den: Several of the witnesses were not iria position to observe fitJln the shore with any accuracy. I have no doubt, as above stated,' that the' place was near the line of the usual course of · in aPJ?toaching' the landing, and not far to the eastward Of the place stated by her master. Holding to that fact, the precise place ' '" is not further materiaL " Upon the above view it is clear that the immediateeause' of the lision:was the fact that the Rosecrans stopped in the water instead of keeViIlg on in accordance with the previous understanding by signals. 'Bhe'was tlle vessel bound to keep out of the way. ,JShe'8elected her own modeO'f doing so. She adhered to this choice, and reipeated it, after shelinew that the Johnswas to go ahead of the Delaware. It is 'plain that, had she kept on; she would have cleared the St. Johns on ithelatter's starboard side by at least 100 feet, i.e., by as much space as Ithe Delaware had on the St. 'Johns' port side, and probably more; and ,that without any change of the St.. helm. This was sufficient ,space. The mode agreed on for aVOldmgeach other was a proper one. IUndeithis agreement, had the Rosecrans kept on, there would have been !no risk McoUision. The St. Johns, under such circumstances, owed no rduty td the Rosecrans, except not to thwart her atten1pts to keep out of Ithe WR)7 by going ahead as agreed, which the St. Johns did not do; and :exoept that, after risk of collision appeared through the Rosecrans! fault, she wasb'ound to do 'what was possible to avoid her; Oily of Hartford, 11 72, 75;, The Nere:us, 23 Fed. Rep. 455, 456; The Vanderbilt, '20 Fed. Rep. 650; The Governor, 1 Abb. Adm. 108; The Greenpoint, 31 iFed. Rep. 231. Even with this stopping by the Rosecrans, shelacked but ;10 df'12 feet of clearing. There was no reasonable or apparent necessity tfor stopping contrary to the agreement under which both had been, act'ing. 'The St. Johns had a right to rely on the Rosecrans keeping on as 'agreed; and stopping, instead of being" necessary," was the maneuver that tended to bring on collision, instead of avoiding it. Rule 21 has no application in such circumstances. The Northfield, 4 Ben. 112; The 'Britannia, ante, 546. For stopping, the Rosecrans must therefore be 'held tdblame. 'I d,o not think any fault is established in the St. Johns. The courses of all these three vessels were direct, straight, and capable of being determined with reasonable certainty by pilots of ordinary skilL For vessels of but moderate size, all going at such moderate speed as these were going,and upon direct lines, in the day-time,and in clear weather, I cannot find that shaping their courses so as. to a space of say ,100 feet oil 'each side for one to pass between the two other tugs with tows along-side is unusually close, or is dangerous or culpable navigation in this harbor, so as to involve the St. Johns in fault, as well as the Rosecrans. The ordinary practice, and the necessities of the harbor, do not require alid often would not admit of more room being taken, without
causing unreasonable embarrassments 'and delays in navigation. The question of a reasonable space and margin for safety is almost wholly a. question of circumstances. The situation here was as simple and as little complicated as possible. It was quite different from .that in the ease of The Active, 22 Fed. Rep. 175, and from that of the Britannia and the Beaconsfield in the case above cited. There, the Britannia's COUl'l;e, instead of being direct. fixed, and determinable, like the St. Johns', involved a swing of five or six points, and was therefore largely indeterminable. The fault of the Britannia was in cQminginto the wrong part of the river; and the only question as regards her was whether that fault actively and proximately contributed to the collision. It was the same in the case of The Active. IJere the St. Johnswas going where she had a right togo; she was puras I find, materially. suing her direct and' proper course; she it&t all, deviate from it; she W'as not guilty offault in shaping her course, or in consenting to go betweell the two tugs, as the Rosecrans proposed she should go; .and the St. Johns had already slowed. The Rosecrans had no right to expect more; and she would have had a reasonably suffito do, ,and as cient margin of safety had she kept on, as she was the St. Johns had the right,to rely on her doing. There .was no apparent necessity for her contrary maneuver, and when the St. Johns saw this dangerous maneuver she instantly reversed, and hailed the Rosecrans to goaheaq.lt is urged that the St. Johns' helm ought have been put insta,rltly hard to starboard, instead of gradually; but any ference in the rapidity of putting the wheel over, when so near as they then .could not have avoided this collision. The whole fault, I think, was with the Rosecrans. Decrees accordingly,with a reference compute the damages.
THE GRAND ISLE.
(ar."'cuit Oourt,E. D. Louisiana. April 6,'1888.)
The owner of a brought a libel for damages against the G., a steamtug. Two witnesses and libelant testified that the G. collided with the lug'gel' in Four employes of the G. testified positively that they passed the lugger WIthout colliding in any way. M.any circumstances corroborated claimant's witnesses, while some favored libelant and his witnesses. Held that. the weight of evidence bein!; for claimant, and the record showing that libelant had grossly exaggerated the circumstances and damages. the libel should be dismissed. .
In Admiralty. Libel for damages. The Grand Isle, a steam-propeller, was plying between New Orleans and Grand Island, through the "Company Canal," an outlet from the Mississippi river. On the 9th of November, 1886, she was on her way