The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921. Page: 68
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68 272 FEDERAL REPORTER
expect any ascending vessel to be on the other side of the river, under a
custom of the river.
9. Collision 4=91-Faul of ascending steamer, which was practically a*
rest, held not proximate cause of collision.
Where a steamer, ascending the Mississippi river and changing pilots,
was almost at rest, and a descending steamer could plainly see her, and
was required by the rules of navigation to pass port to port, and had
abundant room for so passing, the failure of the ascending steamer to
signal for a port to port passing, or repeat her signal when not assented
to, was not a proximate cause of the collision.
10. Collision 4=95(2)-Towing company and tugs, and not steamer, held
responsible for navigation of steamr.
Where a steamer was in charge of a towing company under an inde-
pendent contract of towing, the towing conpany and its tugs, and not
the steamer, were responsible for a fault in her navigation.
Cross-Appeals from the District Court of the United States for the
Eastern District of Virginia, at Norfolk; Edmund Waddill, Jr., Judge.
Libel by the Standard Oil Company, owner of the steamship John
D. Rockefeller, against the steamship Falls City, with cross-libel by
D. Davies, as master and claimant of the steamship Falls City, against
the steamship John D. Rockefeller. From a decree dismissing the libel
and cross-libel (260 Fed. 982), both vessels appeal. Affirmed.
Certiorari denied 255 U. S. -, 41 Sup. Ct. 535, 65 L. Ed. -.
John M. Woolsey, of New York City, and Edward R. Baird, Jr., of
Norfolk, Va. (J. Parker Kirlin and Robert S. Erskine, both of New
York City, on the brief), for appellant and cross-appellee.
Leon T. Seawell, of Norfolk, Va. (Hughes, Little & Seawell, of
Norfolk, Va., on the brief), for appellee and cross-appellant.
Before KNAPP and WOODS, Circuit Judges, and SMITH, Dis-
WOODS, Circuit Judge. At 5:30 p. m., November 15, 1917, two
large ocean steamships, the John D. Rockefeller and the Falls City,
collided on the Mississippi river near Pauline Street wharf, New Or-
leans. Both vessels were injured, and the Falls City, on arrival at
Norfolk, was libeled by the Rockefeller for damages, placed at $40,-
000. By cross-libel the Falls City claimed $30,000 damages.
The District Court, on testimony taken by commission, found the
collision was due entirely to the fault in the navigation of the Falls
City on the part of the Bisso Towboat Company, having the vessel in
tow as an independent contractor, and held that company alone liable.
As neither the Towboat Company nor its tugs were before the court,
the result was a decree dismissing the libel and cross-libel. Both ves-
sels appealed. The Rockfeller alleges that the Falls City did not have
such an independent contract with the Bisso Towboat Company as to
relieve her of the liability from fault in her navigation; the Falls City
alleges fault in the navigation of the Rockefeller resulting in the col-
The cause turns on the action of the navigators of the two vessels,
In view of their legal rights and duties in the relative positions which
g::Fos other cases see same topic & KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests & Indexes
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 272: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States and the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, June-August, 1921., legislative document, 1921; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38843/m1/90/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.