P., W. & B. R. Co. v. P. & H. S. T. Co.
Annotate this Case
64 U.S. 209 (1859)
U.S. Supreme Court
P., W. & B. R. Co. v. P. & H. S. T. Co., 64 U.S. 23 How. 209 209 (1859)
The jurisdiction of courts of admiralty in torts depends entirely on locality, and this Court have heretofore decided that it extends to places within the body of a county. The term "torts" includes wrongs suffered in consequence of the negligence or malfeasance of others where the remedy at common law is by an action on the case.
Hence, where a railroad company employed contractors to build a bridge, and for that purpose to drive piles in a river, and, owing to the abandonment of the contract, the piles were left in the river in such a condition as to injure a vessel when sailing on her course, the railroad company were responsible for the injury.
That the vessel so injured was prosecuting her voyage on Sunday is no defense for the railroad company. The statute of Maryland and the cases upon this point examined.
Where there was conflicting testimony in the court below upon the amount of damages sustained, and there was evidence to sustain the decree, this Court will not reverse the decree merely upon a doubt created by conflicting testimony.
This was a libel filed by one corporation against another corporation in the District Court of Maryland, under the circumstances stated in the opinion of the Court. The district court decreed in favor of the libellants, the appellees, and awarded damages to the amount of $7,000.36. The circuit court, on appeal, affirmed the decree, and the railroad company appealed to this Court.