Morales v. City of Galveston - 370 U.S. 165 (1962)


U.S. Supreme Court

Morales v. City of Galveston, 370 U.S. 165 (1962)

Morales v. City of Galveston

No. 480

Argued April 23-24, 1962

Decided June 11, 1962

370 U.S. 165

Syllabus

Petitioners were longshoremen engaged in "trimming" wheat as it was being loaded by means of a spout directly from a pierside grain elevator owned and operated by the City of Galveston, Texas, into the hold of a ship berthed at the pier. A last "shot" of grain called for and released into the bin had been treated with a chemical insecticide, and petitioners were injured by fumes from the chemical made noxious by concentration in the closely confined area where they were working. They sued the City and the shipowner to recover for their injuries, claiming that the City and the shipowner had been negligent and that the ship was unseaworthy.

Held: a judgment for the defendants is affirmed. Pp. 370 U. S. 166-171.

(a) On the issue of negligence, a finding by the District Court, affirmed by the Court of Appeals, that the City had not itself applied the fumigant to the grain and that neither of the defendants knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that the grain had been improperly fumigated by someone else at an inland point, was based upon substantial evidence, and this Court cannot say that it was clearly erroneous. Pp. 370 U. S. 167-168.

(b) The District Court found, upon substantial evidence and under proper criteria, that the absence of a forced ventilation system in the hold did not make the ship unseaworthy, and that the ship was not in any manner unfit for the service to which she was to be put; that finding was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, and this Court cannot say that it was wrong. Mitchell v. Trawler Racer, Inc., 362 U. S. 539, distinguished. Pp. 370 U. S. 168-171.

291 F.2d 97, affirmed.

Page 370 U. S. 166



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