Spencer Kellogg & Sons, Inc. v. Hicks,
285 U.S. 502 (1932)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Spencer Kellogg & Sons, Inc. v. Hicks, 285 U.S. 502 (1932)

Spencer Kellogg & Sons, Inc. v. Hicks

No. 430

Argued February 16, 17, 1932

Decided April 11, 1932*

285 U.S. 502



1. A corporation operating a factory on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River owned a launch which it used for ferrying employees to and from their work there, a distance of somewhat more than a mile. The launch was not seaworthy when ice was in the river, and the company had therefore instructed the manager of the factory, who also controlled the use of the launch, not to allow it to be used when ice was, or was likely to be, present. Disobedience to these instructions, by the master of the launch, resulted in injuries and deaths of passengers.


(1) In view of weather conditions and observation of ice in the river some days before, the manager should not have rested upon a mere instruction to the master not to run through ice, but should have assured himself by inquiry or by personal investigation that the launch would not incur the hazard. P. 285 U. S. 510.

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