Bloomer v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co.
445 U.S. 74 (1980)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bloomer v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 445 U.S. 74 (1980)

Bloomer v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

No. 78-1418

Argued December 4, 1979

Decided March 3, 1980

445 U.S. 74


Held: A stevedore's lien for the amount of its compensation payment to an injured longshoreman under the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act against the longshoreman's recovery in a negligence action against the shipowner may not be reduced by an amount representing the stevedore's proportionate share of the longshoreman's legal expenses in obtaining recovery from the shipowner. The language, structure, and history of the Act support this conclusion, rather than the application of the equitable "common fund" doctrine that, when a third person benefits from litigation instituted by another, that person may be required to bear a portion of the expenses of suit. Pp. 445 U. S. 77-88.

586 F.2d 908, affirmed.

MARSHALL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and BRENNAN, STEWART, WHITE, POWELL, REHNQUIST, and STEVENS, JJ., joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 445 U. S. 88.

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