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U.S. Supreme Court

Boston Sand & Gravel Co. v. United States, 278 U.S. 41 (1928)

Boston Sand and Gravel Company v. United States

No. 15

Argued February 28, 29, 1928

Reargued October 18, 1928

Decided November 19, 1928

278 U.S. 41


1. A special act empowering the district court to determine a case arising from a collision between a warship and a private craft, and to decree for "the amount of the legal damages sustained by reason of said collision . . . upon the same principles and measure of liability with costs as in like cases in admiralty between private parties," should not be construed to allow interest in a recovery against the United States although interest is commonly included in collision cases where the government is not a party. P. 278 U. S. 46.

2. This and similar acts, considered with general legislation in pari materia, in the light of the rule exempting the United States from interest, shows a policy of Congress to distinguish between the damages caused by a collision and the later loss caused by delay in paying them. P. 278 U. S. 47.

3. The fact that, if the United States had prevailed in the suit, it could have claimed interest does not signify that the statute accords a similar right to the private party, since the right of the United States to recover interest is independent of the statute. P. 278 U. S. 49.

19 F.2d 744 affirmed.

Certiorari, 275 U.S. 519, to a decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals refusing to allow interest against the United States in a collision case litigated under a Special Act of Congress. The district court had ordered the damages divided, 7 F.2d 278, and the petitioner sought interest on its share. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 278 U. S. 46

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