U.S. Supreme Court
The Eugene F. Moran, 212 U.S. 466 (1909)
The Eugene F. Moran
Nos. 87, 88
Argued January 22, 25, 1909
Decided February 23, 1909
212 U.S. 466
Where two tugs and two scows in tow of one of the tugs are all in fault for a collision, each of the four vessels is liable for an equal share of the damages, and the liability is to be so apportioned even if more than one of the vessels are owned by the same person.
Sturgis v. Boyer, 24 How. 110, followed to the effect that a tug having control of a vessel in tow is solely responsible for damages to the other vessel caused by the tug alone.
Fiction, not being a satisfactory ground for taking one man's property to satisfy another man's wrong, should not be extended.
The fact that vessels are tied together in a flotilla does not make the flotilla a unit in proceedings in rem.
In a proceeding in rem where several vessels are found in fault, each bears its share, regardless of ownership, and notwithstanding this rule results in charging one who owns more than one of the vessels with a larger proportion than he would be charged in a personal suit against himself and the owners of the other vessels.
When a duty is imposed for the purpose of preventing a certain consequence, its breach's not leading to that consequence does not make a defendant liable for the tort of a third person merely because the observance of the duty might have prevented that tort.
Questions certified in 154 F. 54 answered. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary