CITY, OF ,WORCESTER·
(lJlstrict: OOf!,rtiD. SouthOarolina. January 16,1$91.)
AsSAULT ON SEAMEN-LIABILITY Oll' MASTER.
A libel for personaliiljnriesby a seaman against the master will be dismissed where it appears that the injuries consisted of libelant on tbehel'd with a broom-stick, causing hiIn to nave a stiJ! neck for sE\veral days; this being done as a punishment, libelant and other seamen having been suspected of stealing Ship stqre.e which 'W,ere found il1lil!elant's bunk.. ,,
I. ·N.NathO/lUJ, for l·espondent.
". SUlowroli, J. on this bark. He' sues the .m!lSter Jor striking hlmon the head. With a broomstick,.breaking it.' It seems th!lt some had beei::J.foundin Healy's bunk. InvestigMionshow,ed t4l1t boy on board . .These, two poys and M,eUor were The:'i1l1aster was ashore. OnhislEltqrnj the mate tepoJ1ed' the.matter,tohiW'j,nnd he punished all U1ree .9f the boys. ' Thisrlibelant "/Vas hit on the' head with a broomstick, lind,for four or fivena.ya :had a-siiffi neck in consequence orit.A not anU1jl.usuaJ ineansof punishment;,n01',was ishmE\Dtc\'\1el, I am not quite: sure that it waS Int,erferenceby the tlonrt ina: case of this, kind by waylDf .damages' 'lead to: un.fortunate,consequences.· ·Let respondent pay "the costs, iam!· tJ1l:ln libel. . . .,
c. It, Nirrthrop, for libel!1nt.
Libbl for, 'personal injuries·.
THE. CITY. OF
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(Cireuft' oburt;iJ.doiineetic:ut. .. .Tanuar.;y M', i891,) .
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: 4nirollo. steam-ship, valued at struek a reef, and lay In an expQsed situatiort1 liable to 'grind on and her injuries. was employen by her owners to save her"and;wasinstrilcted by them to emplbyassistance. salvors conctucte.d al,ld pplled the vessel oj! reef and in,to port for repairs a week·after.: Illia tltruclr. Her.repairs costs $35,000. Llbelant'li :8lj.uipment engaged· in tbe'aervice: ·was.: wort1i about $25,000, and 'the equiplllent.hll'ed by him was worth abol,1t 1/l0,Q(lO" '. One Df ,libelant's vessels struck on tne reefi and had to be repaired for ,'the bill of the employes oflibel· sch¢i1ule:. rates wallfl.8,525,50.A;t th« llaJIlere.tesllbelant'sbill for bis equipment,.e,xlllu.sive of his personal BefV,i!l6AwlUch ohupervisionDf. whole abo;t 1,8,!JOO. of r31,'l'83.S2
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WALLACE, J. This is a libel for salvage services rendered by the libelant and the Merritt Wrecking Organization to the steam-ship City of Worcester. The steam-ship, while running in a fog in Long Island sound on the morning of Sunday, January 12, 1890, struck upon Bartlett's reef. Bartlett's reef lies near the entrance of New London harbor, and is sprinkled with rocks and boulders. The City of Worcester was an iron steam-ship, of the value of about $235,000. As she lay upon the roof after she struck, her keel forward was on the boulders in about six feet of water, and she was afloat behind her after gangway. She was in an exposed situation in the event of a gale from the. south-east, being liable to grind upon the boulders, and thereby materially increase injuries, and the difficulty and expense of getting her off. The libelant was a contracting salvor at New'London, and the Merritt Wrecking Organizd:ion was a contracting salvor at New York city, and each of them maintained ari equipment of. wrecking apparatus and a force of employes for salvage services. The passengers and cargo on board the steam-ship were removed during the day of January 12th. On that day the libelant was engaged by the president of the company owning the steam-ship to undertake the work of saving her. Inasmuch as libelant's equipment was insufficient to proceed with the desired dispatch, he was instructed by the president of the steam-ship company to employ the Merritt Wrecking Organization to assist him. The libelant aceordingly en· gaged the Merritt Wrecking Organization by telegram. On the morning of Monday, the 13th, the equipment and men of the Merritt Wrecking Organization arrived, and operations' were begun with a view to halil the steam-ship off the reef. Owing to rough weather, but little was accomplished that day, beyond removing the furniture, and doing SOme work on her injuries inside the forward compartment. On Tuesday, the 14th, the divers began the work of stopping her leaks. This work occupied until Saturday. The water was then pumped out by the aid of 10 steam-pumps, and on the evening of Sunday, the 19th, she was pulled off the reef, and towed to New London for repairs. The day the steam-ship struck the reef two of her five compartments filled with water. Her injv.ries consisted of a crack a,bout 30 feet long upon the port side forward, terminating in a hole under one of the port boilers. On Monday the boulders wore a couple of additional holes in her bottom, and anothet compartment filled. It cost about $35,000 to repair the injuries she, received. The operations of the salvors were conducted with energy and efficiency, but they did not involve any unusual difficulty or haz.artl beyond the ordinary risks to vessels and divers working about a ree(in soundings of from 6to 20 feet. .'l'hroughout,except on Monday,the weather was fair and the.sea smooth. One of the libelant's upon the reef, and compelled to .undergQ repairs for two days. One of the steamers of the Merritt Wrecking Organization also struck upon the rock, but was got off in about 20 minutes. The equipment of the Merritt Wrecking Organization employed in ice was worth about 880,000, and that of the libelant about $25,000. The Merritt Wrecking Organization furnished the steamers Merritt, ·Cy.
SCOTT V. THE CITY OF WORCES'IlER.
clops, and Dalzell, eight steam-pumps, two divers and their apparatus, seven engineers, nineteen wreckers, one carpenter,two firemen, one foreman, and an agent or superintendent, with the usual outfit of cables, ropes, hose, and anchors; also the barge Blanche and the schooner Edgar Post. The libelant furnished the steamers Alert, T. A,. Scott, Cassie, and Chester, three lighters, four divers and apparatus, two steam-pumps, four engineers, two firemen, and from 18 to 20 wreckers. The libelant had general charge of the work, and was present more or less of the time during its progress. The superintendent of the Merritt Wrecking Organization assisted in the supervision and directiQn of the work. The master, first mate, steward, and some of the crew of the steam-ship remained on board during the week, and assisted the salvors more or less. After the services were performed, the Merritt Wrecking Organization, at the request of the steam-ship company, made out a statement for the rent of its equipment and the wages of its employes engaged in the service, amounting to $13,525.50. The items were charged according to its regular schedule rates for the hire of equipment and men for wrecking services when performed under contract stipulating (or the return of the equipment in like condition as received, excepting ordinary wear and tear. At the same rate of charges for the use of steamers, steam-pumps, and other wrecking apparatus, and for divers, engineers, and other employes, the libelant would be entitled to compensation for his vart of the salvage services, exclusive of his personal efforts, to the sum of about $8,600. Before this libel was filed, the owners of the steam-ship paid to the Merritt Wrecking Organization $10,000, and to the libelant $1,500, to apply on account of the salvage services. Upon these facts it cannot be said that the award made by the district court of $31,733.52, less the Emins paid by the owners of the steam-ship, is so excessive that it ought to be reduced by an appellate court. As was said by this court in The Baker, 25 Fed. Rep. 1773: "The allowance of salvage is necessarily largely a matter of discretion. which cannot be determined with precision by the application of exact rules. Different minds, in the exercise of independent judgment upon the sameevi.. dence, seldom coincide exactly in their views of the facts, or give the same prominence to the varied elements which make up the case. An approximate concurrence is all that can be expected. For this reason, appellate cqul'ts are not disposed to interfere with decrees in salvage cases merely because the sum ,allowed the salvors is larger than the appellate court would have allowed; and the circuit courts of the United states are influenced by this view.".
It has been uniformly declared that an appellate court will not interfere with the decision of the court below with respect to the amount of salvage awarded, unless the judgment has proceeded upon an erroneous principle, or is manifestly excessive or inadequate. Hobart v. Dragan, 10 Pet. 108; The Ooroonche, 8 Wall. 448; The Connemara, 108 U. S. 352, 2 Sup. Ct. Rep. 754; The Sappha, L. R. 3 P. C. 695; Gannv. Brun, 12 Moore P. C. 341; Gref!Tl, v. Bailey, ld. 346; The Scindia,:L. R.1 P. C. 241; The True Blue,ld. 250; The Chetah, L. R.,2 P. C. 205. Where ew proofs are not taken iIl:t,he circuit court, or when, if taken, they do
'not materially change the merits, there is no reason why the circuit court should not observe the rule. The Emulous, 1 Sum. 214; Scott v. Four Hwndred a'ltd Fort'!l-}ive Tans Coal, 40 Fed. Rep. 260.. If a contract had been made in advance for the use of the equipment and hire of the employes of the salvors, the latter would have been entitled to compensation amounting to about $22\000, irrespective of any allowance for the risk ofinjury to their equipment. Very likely that sum, with an allowance added for risk to equipment, would represent a fair return for their investment and expenses, in view of the general conditions and chances of the business in which they were engaged. But, no contract of that kind having been made, they are entitled in addition to a reward, not only for the promptness and energy displayed in the particular service, but also by way of encouragement to others to assume the risk of such enterprises, and go with zeal lothe assistance of vessels in distress, In view of the labor expended, the value of their property employed, the risk incurred to that property, the value of the steain-ship, and theurgency of her situation, it cannot be doubted that the salvors should receive compensation considerably in excess of the value of the hire of their equipment and men, and of the mere risk encountered. A decree is ordered for the libelants for $20,233.52, with interest from the date oithe decree of the district court, together with the costs of thateourt and of this court.
'11. THE CYCLOPS.
(Dtstnct Oowrt, B. D.NfADYork. January 20,1891.)
CoLLISION-BETWBlIN STEAMERS-RuLE OJ/'THIIl STARBOARD HAND-MARGIN FOR SAFBTY.
: The steamerC. C. was lyIng in the East river, 100 or 200 feet ofl pier 86, b,ow down stream, and holdIng herself, against the strong flood-tide. ,The tug Cyclops, with a on her starboard side, rounded ill. t\!le river to land the :lloat,at pier 27. T.he tug's witnesses sta.ted that when she was some 100 or 200 feet ,froln the steamer ehe baCked strong." 'The master of the ,teamer, not knowing that she was bacll;in,g, hailed her to go ahead, strong. The,tugd,id so, but the car-float nevertheless struck and broke the stem, of the steamer. The situation and puppose of the steamer were from the flrstmanifest to the latter, by backing when out in the river, could have turned down stream, and kept away from the that the case V\'ll<!nO,tt6 be decided upon the uncertain possibilities of the short Interval before collision, but that the tug, being the, principal moving vessel, and haVing the steamer ()nthe starboard hand, wae bound seasonably to of the latter's way by a suftJcient margin for safety, and not to, come into dangerous proximity to the steamer which was near the dock; that the hail of the master of the steamer'did not change the obligation of the tug; that hi,S hail was an ,error in extremis ; that the tug was solely responsible for: the col,lision.
S:uit for dama.ge by collision."
lRepq1'ted by Edward G. Benedict, Esq., of the New York bar.