The Wildcroft, 201 U.S. 378 (1906)
U.S. Supreme CourtThe Wildcroft, 201 U.S. 378 (1906)
Argued December 12, 13, 1905
Decided April 2, 1906
201 U.S. 378
The relief afforded by § 3 of the Harter Act, 27 Stat. 445, to shipowners is purely statutory, and in order for a shipowner to avail of the exemptions from liability for errors of management or navigation, the burden is on him to prove affirmatively, in all cases, and not only in those where there is conflicting testimony, that the vessel was seaworthy at the beginning of the voyage or that due diligence had been used to make her so. The discharge of the duty of the shipowner in this respect is not left in the absence of proof to any presumption.
Findings of fact by both the district court and the circuit court of appeals as to seaworthiness of a vessel at, and due diligence used prior to, the commencement of the voyage will not ordinarily be disturbed by this Court, and so held in this case.
The facts are stated in the opinion.