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PASQUALE ESPOSITO v. THE M/V FERNBAY

December 29, 1958

Pasquale ESPOSITO, Libelant,
v.
THE M/V FERNBAY, her engines, boilers, etc., Respondent



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BYERS

This cause involves a claim by libelant that he was injured on October 20, 1954, by reason of the unseaworthiness of The M/V Fernbay, and the negligence of her owner, in failing to provide him with a safe place to work.

Esposito was a winchman employed by Atlantic Stevedoring Co. on that day, and sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 A.M., while preparing to adjust his winch to operate the up and down boom at hatch No. 3, he fell, and suffered the injuries complained of.

 He alleges that his fall was caused by the presence of wet paint that was slippery, on the top of the mast house on which he was compelled to stand while operating his winch.

 There is proof that he did fall, and that he suffered pain in his lower back, and later was aware of certain restriction that he believes limited his subsequent activities as a longshoreman.

 The question for decision is whether the proof justifies the allegations of his libel, comprehended in the above brief statement of his cause.

 The pleading specifies the faults to have consisted in 'permitting the deck and hatch (meaning the top of the mast house) to become greasy, oily and slippery, creating the dangerous situation as a result of which the libelant fell as aforesaid.'

 Findings:

 1. The libelant Pasquale Esposito on October 20, 1954, being about 45 years of age, was employed by Atlantic Stevedoring Company, as a winchman on The M/V Fernbay.

 2. The vessel was owned by the claimant, D/S I/S Garrone.

 3. The vessel lay at Pier 19 Staten Island in this District, bow in, starboard side to the pier.

 4. The libelant reported for work at about 8:00 A.M. and proceeded to hold No. 3 and mounted to the top of the mast house located between hatches 2 and 3, and set about adjusting the rigging of the up and down boom, which was to be operated by the winch of which he was in charge.

 5. Weather conditions did not contribute to the happening of which he complains.

 6. At some time between 8:30 and 9:00 o'clock, and prior to actually starting the winch, and while in the act of moving toward it, he slipped and fell, sustaining some back injury.

 7. The testimony does not establish that he was caused to fall because the top of the mast house was covered ...


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