United States v. St. Louis &c. Trans. Co. - 184 U.S. 247 (1902)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. St. Louis &c. Trans. Co., 184 U.S. 247 (1902)
United States v. St. Louis and Mississippi Valley Transportation Company
After the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and judgment in this case were filed, two successive motions for a new trial were made on behalf of defendant, whereupon the former findings were withdrawn and new and amended findings and opinion filed. Held that, as these amendments were made at defendant's request, the existing conclusions of law and judgment were not thereby disturbed.
The evidence adduced shows that the facts found were sufficient to warrant the court below in holding that the collision in the Mississippi River at New Orleans, whereby the Transportation Company lost a vessel, was the result of the negligence of the officers in command of the United States vessels.
There was also culpable negligence in the United States officers in anchoring in an unusual and improper position.
Upon the findings made, the Transportation Company was not chargeable with contributory negligence.
On October 17, 1894, the St. Louis and Mississippi Valley Transportation Company filed in the Court of Claims a suit by way of petition against the United States in pursuance of the provisions of the Act of August 3, 1894, alleging that said company was a corporation of the State of Missouri, and the owner
of the towboat Future City, her barges in tow and freight earning; that, owing to a collision on May 5, 1888, in the Mississippi River between said steam towboat and barges and war vessels of the United States, several of the barges, with their cargoes and contents, were sunk and wholly lost, and the freight earnings of such barges for the voyage in progress were lost, or not earned and paid to the claimant, and that said collision and the loss and injury resulting therefrom were solely and directly the result of negligence on the part of those in charge of the said vessels of war, and claimed damages in the sum of $24,308.
The United States appeared in said Court of Claims by its Attorney General, and filed an answer traversing and denying the allegations of the claimant's petition. The case was so proceeded in that, on March 21, 1898, the court found for the claimant, and adjudged and decreed that the St. Louis and Mississippi Valley Transportation Company should have and recover of and from the United States the sum of $19,808.85.
On March 21, 1898, the court filed findings of fact and conclusion of law. Subsequently, to-wit, on May 14, 1900, the court filed an order withdrawing its former findings of fact, and filed new and amended findings in lieu thereof.
On May 21, 1900, an appeal was prayed for and allowed to this Court.