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NORTHWESTERN FIRE & MARINE INS. CO. v. SEABOARD SA

May 11, 1932

NORTHWESTERN FIRE & MARINE INS. CO.
v.
SEABOARD SAND & GRAVEL CORPORATION et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CAMPBELL

CAMPBELL, District Judge.

This is an action to recover for damages caused by the breaking away during a storm of a deck scow, which was made fast alongside another scow at a buoy, and landing on a rock.

I find the facts as follows:

 At all the times hereinafter mentioned and at the time of the trial, the libelant was a foreign corporation, organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the state of Minnesota.

 At all the times hereinafter mentioned and at the time of the trial, the Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation was a domestic corporation, organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the state of New York, and was the owner of the deck scow Dick L., herein referred to.

 Up to the time of the happening hereinafter described, the said deck scow Dick L. was tight, staunch, strong, and in every respect seaworthy.

 At all the times hereinafter mentioned and at the time of the trial, the respondent Seaboard Sand & Gravel Corporation was a domestic corporation, organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the state of New York.

 At all the times hereinafter mentioned and at the time of the trial, the respondent Great Eastern Gravel Corporation was a domestic corporation, organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the state of New York.

 At all the times hereinafter mentioned and for some time prior thereto, the respondent Great Eastern Gravel Corporation operated and controlled a certain dredge at Mt. Sinai, Long Island, where the said respondent loaded scows with gravel and sand.

 In connection with said loading of its scows, and for the convenience in such loading of the respondents, Seaboard Sand & Gravel Corporation and Great Eastern Gravel Corporation, the said respondent Seaboard Sand & Gravel Corporation placed, and at all the times hereinafter mentioned owned, a certain mooring buoy on Long Island Sound about 1/2 mile off Mt. Sinai.

 At the request of the said Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation, and for the convenience of the said corporation and the Great Eastern Gravel Corporation, the said respondent Seaboard Sand & Gravel Corporation gave the said Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation permission to use, or allow the Great Eastern Gravel Corporation to use, from time to time, the said buoy for mooring the scows of the Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation thereat, before and after loading by the Great Eastern Gravel Corporation, but without the payment of any wharfage, the said Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation being merely a licensee.

 That during the times hereinafter mentioned and prior thereto, while said buoy was so placed, the said respondent Great Eastern Gravel Corporation, with the consent of the said Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation, placed some of the boats of the said Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation at said buoy before and after loading.

 In connection with the aforesaid operations of its dredge at Mt. Sinai the respondent Great Eastern Gravel Corporation operated the steamtug Keating.

 The said steamtug Keating was at all the times hereinafter mentioned, and for some time prior thereto, employed by the respondent Great Eastern Gravel Corporation in removing scows from Port Jefferson Harbor for loading at the aforesaid dredge of the Great Eastern Gravel Corporation located at Mt. Sinai, and in mooring scows when loaded to the buoy, and in some instances returning them to Port Jefferson.

 That for some time prior thereto and until about 7:20 o'clock on the morning of the 18th day of September, 1928, when she was towed into Port Jefferson Harbor from Bridgeport, Conn., the said scow Dick L. was under charter from the Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation, its owner, to the above-named respondent Seaboard Sand & Gravel Corporation.

 That on said morning of the 18th day of September, 1928, at about 7:20 o'clock, the said deck scow Dick L. was returned by the said respondent Seaboard Sand & Gravel Corporation to Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation, at Port Jefferson Harbor, and the said deck scow Dick L. was at that time tight, staunch, strong, and in every respect seaworthy.

 On the said morning of the 18th day of September, 1928, after delivery by the said Seaboard Sand & Gravel Corporation to the Exner Sand & Gravel Corporation of the said deck scow Dick L., the said scow was, at about 8 o'clock a.m., at the direction of the respondent Great Eastern Gravel Corporation, taken in tow at the stakeboat owned and/or operated and maintained in Port Jefferson Harbor by the respondent Seaboard Sand & Gravel Corporation, by the steamtug Keating, and was thereupon, by direction of the respondent Great Eastern Gravel Corporation, towed by said steamtug out of the harbor of Port Jefferson to the aforesaid mooring buoy on Long Island Sound, off Mt. Sinai, where the said deck scow was, at about 10 o'clock a.m., moored by the said steamtug Keating on the easterly side of Bouker No. 71, lying at said mooring buoy, to await the convenience of the respondent Great Eastern Gravel Corporation in loading the said scow at its aforesaid dredge at Mt. Sinai.

 The said mooring buoy lies on the waters of Long Island Sound, about 1/2 a mile offshore, in a position unprotected from the winds and seas, especially with an easterly or northeasterly wind.

 When the steamtug Keating arrived at said buoy with the Dick L., the Bouker No. 50 was moored at the buoy and the Bouker No. 71 was made fast to and astern of the Bouker No. 50, both of which boats were loaded with stone to be used in building the breakwater, and ware not ...


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