White Oak Transp. Co. v. Boston, C.C. & N.Y. Canal Co.,
258 U.S. 341 (1922)

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U.S. Supreme Court

White Oak Transp. Co. v. Boston, C.C. & N.Y. Canal Co., 258 U.S. 341 (1922)

White Oak Transportation Company v.

Boston, Cape Cod & New York Canal Company

Nos. 116, 124

Argued March 1, 1922

Decided April 10, 1922

258 U.S. 341


Where a large steamship, heavily laden and awkward to steer, traversing a canal, sheered to one bank and then the other, grounded, sprang a leak, and, despite efforts first to hold and lighten and then to tow her through, sheered again to the other bank and sank, becoming a total loss with her cargo, held, upon the findings and evidence --

(1) That the master was not to blame for not displacing a canal pilot after the first accident and for permitting the vessel to proceed, before slack water, not fully pumped out and with her cargo unadjusted, in view of the canal company's regulations, the directions of its superintendent, and the situation and consensus of opinion existing at the time. P. 258 U. S. 344.

(2) That the loss was attributable to the joint negligence of the canal company and the master in attempting to pass such a vessel through the canal. P. 258 U. S. 345.

(3) That all the damages, arising from the loss of the vessel and its cargo, injury to the canal, and obstruction of the canal business should be divided equally between the canal company and the vessel owner. P. 258 U. S. 345.

(4) The cargo owner, having proceeded only against the canal company, was entitled to a decree for the full amount of its loss against that company. P. 258 U. S. 345.

265 F. 538, 267 F. 176, reversed.

Certiorari to decrees of the circuit court of appeals, the one holding the petitioner Transportation Company liable to the respondent Canal Company for damages found to have resulted from negligence of the petitioner in the management of its vessel in the respondent's canal,

Page 258 U. S. 342

the other exonerating the respondent Canal Company from liability to the petitioner Coal Company for the loss of a cargo contained in the same vessel.

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