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U.S. Supreme Court

Mahnich v. Southern Steamship Co., 321 U.S. 96 (1944)

Mahnich v. Southern Steamship Co.

No. 200

Argued January 5, 1944

Decided January 31, 1944

321 U.S. 96


1. A finding of seaworthiness by a district court sitting in admiralty is usually a finding of fact, which will not be reviewed here if the two courts below concurred in it. But the finding of seaworthiness in this case is reviewable here, since both courts below, holding themselves bound by a previous decision of this Court, reached that conclusion as a matter of law. P. 321 U. S. 98.

2. A vessel and its owner are liable to indemnify a seaman for injury caused by unseaworthiness of the vessel or its appurtenant appliances and equipment. P. 321 U. S. 99.

3. A seaman who was injured on shipboard when the staging on which he was working fell as a result of a break in defective rope with which it was rigged is entitled under the maritime law to indemnity from the shipowner for breach of the warranty of seaworthiness. P. 321 U. S. 103.

The owner is not relieved of liability in such case by the fact that the use of the defective rope in rigging the staging was due to the negligence of the ship's officers or of fellow servants of the seaman, for the owner's duty to furnish the seaman with safe appliances and a safe place to work is nondelegable; nor is the owner relieved by the fact that there was sound rope aboard, which could have been used in rigging the staging, for the owner's duty is to furnish the seaman with safe appliances for use in his work when and where it is to be done.

4. Plamals v. The Pinar Del Rio, 277 U. S. 151, to the extent that it conflicts herewith, is disapproved. P. 321 U. S. 105.

135 F.2d 602 reversed.

Certiorari, 320 U.S. 725, to review the affirmance of a decree, 45 F.Supp. 839, denying recovery in an action in admiralty for indemnity for injuries.

Page 321 U. S. 97

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