U.S. Supreme Court
The E. A. Packer, 140 U.S. 360 (1891)
The E. A. Packer
Argued April 3, 6, 1891
Decided May 11, 1891
140 U.S. 360
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED
STATES FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
The general rule, which prevails in cases tried by a circuit court without a jury, that the trial court is bound to find every fact material to its conclusion of law, and that a refusal to do so, if properly excepted to, is ground for reversal, prevails also in admiralty causes.
The libel in this case set forth, as ground for recovery, a collision between the barge Cross Creek in tow by the tug Packer, and the barge Atlanta, in tow by the tug Wolverton, whereby the latter barge and its cargo suffered material injury. The main question at issue was as to which tug was in fault. After the circuit court had made its findings of fact, the claimant submitted requests for several additional findings, which the judge declined to find otherwise than as he had already found. Among these was the following: "The porting of the Wolverton's wheel, when she was abort 200 feet from the Packer, was a change of four or five points from her course." It appeared from the evidence brought up with the exceptions that such was the fact.