THE MA.NHANSET. NELSON v. THE MANHANSET. (District Court, E. D. New York.
NEGI.IGENCE - PERSONAL INJURY SERVANT-AcT IN EXTREMIS.
December 27, 1892.)
ABSENCE OF LIGH1' AT WINCH -
Libelant stepped into a snarl in the f:ill of a winch on the deck of :L ship, and was drawn into the winch and injured. It was after dark, and there was no light by the winch. After libelant was tbe man at tho winch attempted to stop it, but in bis excitement made it go faster. Held, that the absence of a light constituted such negligence as rendered the ship liable, and that the act of the winch man in increasing tbe speed of thH macbine was an act in extremis, and did not contribute to the acciuent.
In Admiralty. Libel by Peter Nelson against the steamship Manhanset to recover damages for personal injuries. Decree for libelant. E. G. Davis, for libelant Convers & Kirlin, for claimant.
BENEDICT, District Judge. The personal injuries to the libelant, for which he seeks to recover in this action, arose out of his stepping into a snarl in the fall of the winch, which lay upon the deck of the steamer. The fall was not observed by him, because the winch was running after dark, without a light placed so lIB to enable the fall to be seen by one walking along the deck, and when he stepped into the snarl his leg was drawn into the winch and severely injured. In my opinion, the failure to have a light by the winch, when running after dark, was the cause of the libelant's injury, and was negligence which renders the ship liable for the injury to the libelant resulting therefrom. The act of the man who was running the winch, in making the winch go faster, instead of stopping it, when alarm was given .that the libelant was caught in the fall, was an act in extremis, caused by alarm at the dangerous situation of the libelant when caught by the fall. It cannot be held to be a fault of the man at the winch, which contributed to the disaster. The fright of the man at the winch, which caused him to run the winch faster, when it should have been stopped, was one of the results of the failure to proviqe a light at the winch, and for which the ship is responsible. Let a decree be entered in favor of the libelant, and an order of reference to lIBcer· tain the amount of his damages.
THE FRANCE.' McDOWELL v. THE FRANCE. (District Court, S. D. New York. January 16, 1893.)
SHIPPING-NEGLIGENCE-PERSONAL INJURY-INSUFFICIENT FITTINGS.
Libelant, wbile shoveling ashes beneath the hatch in the hold of a vessel, was injurffi by the f:ill of an ash bag; such fall being due to its weak han· dle, by wbich it was hooked to the fall. Libelant had no duty or responsi·
'Reported by E. G. Benedict, Esq.. of the New York bar.
blllty as to the selection, oversight, or charge of the bags used. The court, on the evidence, found tha,t under the circumstances libelant could not be held to be negligent in worklng beneath the hatch, and that the notices to stand from under, wWch it was alleged were given libelant, had no reference to the hoisting of the bags, with a view to the possibility of their falling, but were the customary notices given when the empty bags and chains came down. Held, that the sWp must supply sound bags for such a purpose, and was responsible to the libelant for Ws damages caused by the insufficiency of tWs bag; such damages, for a broken thigh, being fixed at $2,0Q0.
In AdmiraJty. Libel by William McDowell against the steamship France to recover damaga'il for personal injuries caused by the falling of an ash bag down the hatch while he was engaged in shoveling cinders into another bag at the bottom of the hatch. Decree for libel· ant. Hyland & Zabriskie, for libelant. John Ohetwood, for claimants. BROWN, District Judge. The evidence does not show anything out of "!#epusual course that should cause the handle of the ash bag it washoistP;i.g up; its weak and condition must from tlte fact, that it broke under such circumstances. I .!'fglLl'd the general testimony tllat the bag was. sound and sll,fficient as Qvercoming that fact. cited for the claimants seem to me not applicable here. The libelant hoo no duty ()+ responsibility in the selection, oversight, or charge ot the bags used; and the present case is therein distinguished from the whole class of cases to which that of Oregan v. Marston, 126 N. Y. 568, 27;N. E. Rep. 952, belongs. Nor ean I:fb1d the libelant chargeable with contributory negligence in working beneath the hatch. The falling bag struck him while he was shoveling cinders into bag, as was customary, and this bag was filled. It j,jI' not credible that he would have been filling a bag under the hatch,llnless there had been matter near by that wl!-s required to be shoveled into the bag at that place. On re-read· ing the depositions of the other workmen who were near him, I do not find it a reasonable construction of that evidence" that the libelant was'notified to keep from under the hatch while a bag was ascending, or In respect to any such contingency as the breaking of the bag handles and the falling of an ascending bag. All the witnesses testify that they never had known any such previous' breaking; there was no apprehension of it; and, as it seems to me, there is not the slightest probability that the several, notices spoken of to stand from under, had any reference to the bags going up, but solely to the bag, rope and chain coming down, since the evidence shows that the persons above when about to throw them down were in the habit of giving notice to the persons It was quite natural, and in the ordinary course, that such calls should berepeated to the libelant by his fenow workmen while lie was working under the hatch; and I have no 'doubt that it was sul.ili and such only, that are referred to, by the witnesses; and those notices had nothing to do with such an accident as this, and indicate no neglect by the libelant.
THE M. MORAN.
The ship is responsible for the supply of sound and safe bags for such a purpose. The A. Heaton, 43 Fed. Rep. 592; The Julia Fowler, 49 Fed. Rep. 277; The Persian Monarch, Id. 669; The Wm. Branfoot, 48 Fed. Rep. 914, affirmed, 52 Fed. Rep. 390. The libelant was severely injured by the fall. The femur was fractured, and to some extent crushed. Shortening of the limb in can· sequence could not be avoided, notwithstanding the severe treatment applied in the endeavor to diminish the contraction, and the great suffering incident to this treatment. The result is a permanent injury and considerable crippling, disabling the libelant from following his former or any severe occupation, but not such as to interfere rna· terally with many lighter kinds of employment. I award him $2,000, with costs. .
THE M. MORAN. In re PETITION OF MORAN FOR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. (District Court, E. D. New York. December 24,1892.) NEGLIGENCE-COLLISION-LoOKOUT. A tugboat had towed a vessel to sea, and her pilot was being taken off the ship by a yawl attached to the station boat. As the yawl lay alongside the ship, the tug approached, and, owing to the failure of the wheelsman to see the position of the yawl until too late to stop his boat. tho yawl was crushed between the tug and the ship, and two of the pilots in her lost their lives. The owner of the tug filed a petition in limitation oJ: liability. Held, that the accident was due to the negligence of the master of the' tug, and her owner was liable in damages.
In Admiralt.y. In the matter of the application of Michael Moran, part owner of the steam tug M. Moran, for limitation of liability. Carpenter & Mosher, for petitioner. James Parker, for claimant. BENEDICT, District Judge. The sad occurrence which caused the death of two pilots while in their yawl boat alongside the bark Methuselah, by being crushed between that bark and the tug Moran, was the result of negligence. I find no negligence on the part of the pilots; for while it is true that, if the yawl's line had not been cast off from the bark, no injury would have been done, I do not think it was negligence on the part of the pilots to cast off their line when they did. The bark was moving. The proper thing to do, as soon as the pilot they were taking stepped into the yawl, was to cast off the line. The yawl was in plain sight of the tugboat, and the pilots had a right to suppose that the tugboat would not co;me close enough to the bark to catch the yawl as it was drifting aft alongside the bark and touching the same. Neither do I think it was negligence on the part of the pilots to attempt to climb on the rail of the tugboat when they saw the tugboat upon them. All iIi the yawl were at that time in a state of alarm because of the dangerous approach of the tug. To attempt to climb over the rail of the tug when the tug came upon the yawl was a rational thing to do under the circumstances, and