Sentilles v. Inter-Caribbean Shipping Corp.,
361 U.S. 107 (1959)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Sentilles v. Inter-Caribbean Shipping Corp., 361 U.S. 107 (1959)

Sentilles v. Inter-Caribbean Shipping Corp.

No. 6

Argued October 19, 1959

Decided November 23, 1959

361 U.S. 107


In this suit by a seaman under the Jones Act and the general maritime law to recover from a shipowner damages for a serious tubercular illness alleged to have been caused by an accident at sea for which the shipowner was liable, no medical witness testified that the accident, in fact, caused the illness.

Held: nevertheless, the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's conclusion that the illness was caused by the accident, and the Court of Appeals erred in reversing a judgment for the seaman. Pp. 361 U. S. 107-110.

(a) The lack of medical unanimity as to the respective likelihood of the potential causes of the illness, and the fact that the other potential causes were not conclusively negated by the proofs, did not bar the jury from drawing the inference which it did. P. 361 U. S. 109.

(b) The use of a particular form of words by the medical witnesses is not determinative, and the jury was entitled to take all the circumstances, including the medical testimony, into consideration. Pp. 361 U. S. 109-110.

256 F.2d 156 reversed.

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