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IN RE SUN OIL CO.

May 11, 1972

Petition of SUN OIL COMPANY, as owners of the M/T MAUMEE SUN, in a Cause of Exoneration from Limitation of Liability, Civil and Maritime

Levet, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEVET

OPINION, FINDINGS OF FACT and CONCLUSIONS OF LAW.

LEVET, District Judge.

 Plaintiff (formerly petitioner) Sun Oil Company, owner of the M/T Maumee Sun (hereinafter "Maumee Sun"), in this action seeks exoneration from or limitation of liability with respect to the collision and damages resulting therefrom, which occurred on November 23, 1965 in Hog Island Channel, inside the southern entrance to the Cape Cod Canal, with United States Lines freighter S.S. American Pilot (hereinafter "American Pilot").

 This claim is allegedly brought under Sections 4282-4289 inclusive of the Revised Statutes of the United States and Section 18, Act of Congress of June 28, 1884, and various statutes supplemental thereto and amendments thereof and any other applicable law or laws.

 The claimants (salvors) seek to recover a salvage award for services allegedly entered in coming to the assistance of the distressed Maumee.

 After hearing the testimony of the parties, examining the exhibits, the pleadings and the Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and memoranda of law submitted by counsel, this court makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. I find that only the following persons were claimants at the time of the trial of this action:

 
1. Peter J. Govostes, pilot of the American Pilot;
 
2. Francis M. Haggerty, her Chief Officer;
 
3. Wilbur R. Lange;
 
4. Harry C. Northern;
 
5. Ronald J. Merczinger;
 
6. Robert E. Hayes;
 
7. William Primus;
 
8. August F. Herrenberg.

 The basis of this determination is as follows:

 The pretrial order in this case dated February 6, 1970 and filed on the same date, in paragraph 8-B thereof provided as follows:

 
"Within 90 days from the date of this order each claimant will file in court an affidavit setting forth the basis of each claimant's claim."

 On or about March 17, 1970, Abraham E. Freedman, Esq., attorney for some thirty one claimants, moved this court pursuant to Rule 56(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for partial summary judgment determining that a valid class action has been stated on behalf of all the unlicensed crew members of the American Pilot or, in the alternative, for an order pursuant to Rule 15(a) and (c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permitting the addition of the said thirty one crew members as salvage claimants.

 In an opinion and order dated May 19, 1970 this court, by Judge Metzner, denied this motion both to declare that a class action was being maintained under Rule 23(c)(1) and likewise denied the amendment requested. Accordingly, one of the crew members listed in the said ...


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