(OirOUl£t Oourt, E. D. Louisiana. April 6, 1891.)
On libel by paSsengers against the master of a steam-ship for failure to furnish 'wholesome and proper food, equal in value to one and a half navy ratioDs of the as required by thep!'s$enger act, (U. S. St. 1882, c.374, § 4,) libelants cannot recover if the evidence'does not show the money or nutritive value of the 'provisions furnished, or that they were not equal in value to one and a half navy rations, though they may have been poor in qUality. 9. OJ' CONTRAOT. ' In such adtion it appesred that, instead of furnishing the amount and quantity of food ,stipulated on the tiokets, the master them unwholesome and insufficient provisioIlS; that fresh water was not furnished them as agreed upon; that the water-o!osetsfor the female passengers were not decently arranged and inclosed, and'-yvere in a disgustingly filthy condition. For tl:le inSUfficiency of the water-olos! ets, the sb;ip was convioted under the passenger act of 1882, and fined $250. that damages should be allowed libelants, '$50 to each for breach of contract as to provisions, and $50 additional to each female for breach as to water-closets.
TO FuRNISH PROPER FOOD.
In Admiralty. .. The pa8$enger act, (U. S. St. 1882, c. 374:, § 4,) relating to the ment ofsteam-boat passengers, provides that"An all0'Yance of Rood, wholesome, and ,proper food, with a reasonable quantity of fresh prOVisions, which food be equal in value to one and a half navy rations of the United States, and of fresh water, not Jess than four quarts perday, shall be furnished each of suchpassElDgers. '" '" * If any any sul;jh passengers shall at any time during the voyage be put on short' allowance fClrfood and water, the master of the vessel shall pay to each passenger three ,401lars for each and every daytbe passenger :may have been put pn short a1l9wance. '" '" '" And for ev:ery willful violation of. any of the provisions of this the JlIastllr ,of the vessel shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined, not mOre than five bundred dollars. and be .imprisoned 'for a term not exceeding six months. The enforcement of tqis pemmYI hOwever,'shallilot affect the civil responsibility of the master and owners of.the vessel to sllchpassengers as may have suffered from any negH.: gehce,breacboJ: contract, or default on the part of suoh master and owners." T. J. Semme8, for claimant. R.· DeGray, for libelants.
PARDEE, J. The libelants, some 20 odd in number, alleging that they were steerage passengers on board the steam-ship Havre, on her voyage from the port of Antwerp, via Bordeaux, to the port of New Orleans, made between the 12th of January and the middle of February, 1890, for grounds of complaint against said vessel charge that the master and officers of said vessel, in violation of libelants' contract of passage, neglected, failed, and refused to furnish, without any just reason or cause, the libelants with proper or sufficient food; and such as they were entitled to under their contract, but, on the contrary, starved them, although said steam-ship had an abundance of wholesome and sufficient food on board during the whole of the voyage; and, further, refused to furnish them with water-closets of the kind or character demanded by ordinary decency, and by the statutes of the United States, "\'I'hereby
O'CARROLL tl. THE HAVRE.
they suffered hunger and want, thirst a.nd starvation, to the great injury of their health and deprivation of their comfort, and to the damage of each of thilm one hundred dollars, ($100.00.)" They further charge that the said master and officers neglected, failed, and refused to furnish libelants, and each of them,an.allowance of good, wholesome, and proper food, with a reasonable quantity of fresh provisions, equal in value to one and one-half navy rations of the United States, and without cause put them, on short allowance; and that, when the libelants protested and petitioned said mast!!f and his officers for sufficient and wholesome food i their petition was denied, "whereby the said libelants, and each of them, during the entiretimeoccupiedby the aforesaid passage, suffered great discomfort, want, hunger, thirst, and starvation, to the great injury of their health and comfort;" and whereby, under the statutes of the United States,tpere due from said steam-:ship, her master and owners, three dollars per day to each passenger during said voyage. The answer is substantially a general de,nial. The evidence is voluminous and conflicting; a good deal of it is,of that general charaoter·which is of little value in aiding the court to get at the exact facts in.a Oll-se of this kind. A review or recapitulation would be lengthy and tedious, and is not deemed necessary. for the purposes of this case. I have carefully read and considered it all, and the following is sufficient to show how I reach a decision: 1. The evidence does not satisfactorily establish that the value of the provisions actUAlly served libelants, on the voyage aforesaid,was or was J!.ot equivalent to 9ne and one-half navy rations of the United States.. . The, evidence does not show the money value or the nutritive value of the provisions actually <furnished. The articles composing the from those furnished and contracted to be furnished by,t!;le veSSel in number, variety, and to ,SOUle extent in kind, and no Witn6!lS gives an intelligent comparison of the two. It is true that of the libEllants give an estimate of the actaal value of the provisions furnished, but their evidence partakes of the character of" guessing," and their estimates are of little value. . 2. The evidence does not satisfactorily establish that the libelants, or any of them, at any time during the voyage, were put upon a short allowance of food and water, within the meaning of the statute, (section 4, Passenger Act 1882.) There was plenty of food and water, saying nothing as to quality, furnished the whole timer of the voyage. 3. The evidence does establish that many of the articles of food contracted to be furnished, .as by tickets of passage, were not furnished and supplied in kind or by equivalents, particularly oatmeal, sugar, butter,. and cheese;;and that the tl;ll!.t :were furnished were not always wholesome in quality, some of the articles being invariably bad. The for.tij,e supply and pf food,. W/3re s.uchl!.8 .topnl!.lturally oauseddissatisfaction among the passengers. ,The fasto! 15 hours, consisted of cupofco'ffee, ;wIth a small piece of bread,. wholly insufficient to satisfy a !lnd biscuits, the jL,nd worply t . ,
J'2DERAL aillttoRTEk, vot
eyerjr day ;'pro'bab11 AttJf!i.meht'·as being tlonsidered,but the fresh bread:: was so much: tbthesea-bis· :euitsthelatter were rejected,'Md the t thobght that they were not. sup'plledl 'with of'tnEl'ifornler." :With regard to,fre$hand ,salt 1Jieef,"tne ServiOO1tlldstippJy were The su pply of dishes for both food'JW"aB insufficient; " Theresetvesupply of water could only" be 'obtained :1>ystlcking in an iron pipe from a barrel on deck. Thaisteward and baker and c()ok,who had immediate contrOl of the furnishing, distributing) 'and cooking of the provisions served'tottlE! emigrant" r>Msengers, seemed to havea11 interest in creating and supplying a demal1d for extrasanddlHicacies, and even necessaries, amollJ:( the said passengets. i" 4. The watet-closet . fur the female passengers \was' not decently arranged and, indosedtand: during the voy agewas genera,lly in a disgustinglyfilthy condition; l i e , ' , ·., : . ,,' . ,It follows that the ca,nt1l>t recover foi-lind on account of being put upon shortl1-11owal'1oo; under tMpassengeraet of 1882;'I!:0r for failure on the part of the:masterimd officer to furnieh provisionsJequivalent in value to one and one-half naVy rations of thaUnitedStates under the same statute; but that they may recoVer fori I breach Of contract in not furnishing llnd quality of provisions actually contracted to be furnished; and the female libelants may recover for breach of contract in 'regard to ':Wappears that for the insufficient Water-closets the ship hasloeen COIlvicted in a !luit,1)roughtbythe United States under'thepassenger:act oH882, andhas'been fined the stipulated penalty, ($250,) and this fact should be oOllsideredin determining the damages to be allowed here. On the whole, $50 for each libelant seems to be a proper allowance for damages on the ,breadh:of contract all and $50 should be allowed to each fenlMce llbelant for breach as to water.closets. A decree will therefore be entered tgiving each male libelant $50 damages, and each fefilale libelant (&100. The decree will carry costs of both courts. . ,
(Oircuit Oautt, E.
D.'z;ouWana. ,Match th;,'1891.) -I '.1: .
': Defendant railroad 90mpany also owned a line ofsteatD-boa'ta rttnnhl! ill ttle '" Ktllaissippi river, and. 1101(\ tickets betWe«ln ,lltations, and eitb.er on tile : '. railroad or steam-boatll,aild entitllng to be carried'either to the station named or to the one nearest· on the opposite p13intiff such a ticket, defendant, reta!iationfor l"l:lf\Wal to .givetl:ie boatdiqel:iia entire freigbt, refused to IB:nd l:irin at tl:ie lant1ing opposite the atation named in the ticket,
CONTBidT. " "