Weyerhaeuser Steamship Co. v. United States,
372 U.S. 597 (1963)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Weyerhaeuser Steamship Co. v. United States, 372 U.S. 597 (1963)

Weyerhaeuser Steamship Co. v. United States

No. 65

Argued February 18, 1963

Decided April 1, 1963

372 U.S. 597


Petitioner sued the United States under the Public Vessels Act to recover damages resulting from a collision between its ship and a government dredge. The United States filed a cross-libel, and the District Court held that the collision had occurred through the mutual fault of both vessels and that, under the settled admiralty rule, each party was entitled to recover from the other one-half of its provable damages and court costs. A government employee aboard the dredge had sustained personal injuries in the collision, for which he received compensation under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act. He sued petitioner for damages, obtained a settlement of $16,000, and repaid to the United States the amount he had received under the Compensation Act.

Held: Section 7(b) of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, which provides that the liability thereunder "shall be exclusive, and in place, of all other liability of the United States" to the employee and his representatives and dependents, does not limit the admiralty rule of divided damages in mutual fault collisions, and the amount paid by petitioner to the government employee should be included in computing the amount of petitioner's recovery from the Government. Pp. 372 U. S. 597-604.

294 F.2d 179 reversed.

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