Mitchell v. Trawler Racer, Inc.,
362 U.S. 539 (1960)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Mitchell v. Trawler Racer, Inc., 362 U.S. 539 (1960)

Mitchell v. Trawler Racer, Inc.

No. 176

Argued January 21, 1960

Decided May 16, 1960

362 U.S. 539


In an action by a seaman who was a member of the crew of a fishing trawler to recover damages for personal injuries sustained as a result of unseaworthiness due to the temporary presence on the ship's rail of slime and fish gurry remaining there from recent unloading operations, the shipowner's actual or constructive knowledge of the temporary unseaworthy condition is not an essential element of the seaman's case. Pp. 362 U. S. 539-550.

(a) A shipowner's duty to furnish a seaworthy ship is absolute, and it is not limited by concepts of common law negligence. Pp. 362 U. S. 542-549.

(b) Liability of the shipowner for a temporary unseaworthy condition is not different from the liability which attaches when the unseaworthy condition is permanent. Pp. 362 U. S. 549-550.

265 F.2d 426 reversed.

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