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THE BLACK EAGLE

August 15, 1934

THE BLACK EAGLE; Petition of AMERICAN DIAMOND LINES, Inc.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CAMPBELL

CAMPBELL, District Judge.

The petitioner excepts to interrogatories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, propounded by respondent with its answer, and to each one of them, on the ground that said interrogatories are immaterial, irrelevant, improper, call for evidence that claimant is not entitled to obtain by way of interrogatories, and seek to obtain evidence on issues concerning which the burden of proof is not upon the claimant.

Petitioner for its answer to the sixteenth interrogatory refers to the first paragraph of article third of the petition, and for its answer to the eighteenth interrogatory refers to the log book of the Black Eagle, which has been submitted to counsel for the claimant.

 This is a motion for an order overruling and striking out the said exceptions and directing petitioner to make personal answer under oath to the interrogatories propounded by claimant and respondent at the close of the answer.

 The first ground of objection to the exceptions is their from, and it does seem to me that the usual and customary way under our practice, and the proper way to state exceptions, would be to state them separately, pointing out specifically the objection as to each specification.

 I cannot, however, strike them out on that ground, and Erie & Western Transp. Co. v. Great Lakes Towing Co. (D.C.) 184 F. 349, cited by respondent, is not authority therefor, as in that case it was stated that each interrogatory was open to one or more of any number of objections, which required the party to whom they were addressed to determine which of the objections were claimed to apply. In the instant case but one set of objections is stated, and that set of objections it is claimed applies to each of them.

 This case arises out of a collision between the steamship Black Eagle, owned by the petitioner, and the steamship Concordia, which occurred on March 5, 1934, in latitude 43 degrees 11 minutes north, longitude 59 degrees 11 minutes west. The Black Eagle sailed from Rotterdam, Holland, on February 24, 1934, bound for New York, and the Concordia sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, on March 4, 1934, bound for Glasgow, Scotland.

 As a consequence of the collision, the Concordia was sunk, and, together with her cargo, became a total loss.

 The claimant and respondent Scottish Co-Operative Wholesale Society, Limited, was the owner of the cargo laden on board the Concordia.

 On or about April 16, 1934, the petitioner filed its petition herein claiming the benefit of limitation of liability provided in sections 4282 and 4286 (46 USCA §§ 182-186), inclusive, of the Revised Statutes of the United States, and the various statutes supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof.

 In its petition, petitioner alleged that the value of the Black Eagle did not exceed the sum of $154,000.

 On May 31, 1934, claimant and respondent Scottish Co-Operative Wholesale Society, Limited, duly filed its answer and, at the close of its answer, propounded the interrogatories in question, with others, there being nineteen in all, to be answered by the petitioner under oath.

 Petitioner has answered the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, seventeenth, and nineteenth, and they are not in question.

 Interrogatories first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth, all call for information with reference to facts that might be of moment in determining the value of the steamship Black Eagle and these I will consider later. The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth interrogatories call for information as to the pitch of the propeller of the steamship Black Eagle, and the number ...


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