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REED V. THE YAKA, 373 U. S. 410 (1963)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Reed v. The Yaka, 373 U.S. 410 (1963)

Reed v. The Yaka

No. 509

Argued April 22, 1963

Decided May 27, 1963

373 U.S. 410


Petitioner, a longshoreman, filed a libel in rem in a Federal District Court against a ship for injuries sustained while engaged in loading the ship as an employee of a corporation which was operating it under a bareboat charter. The District Judge found that, at the time of the injury, petitioner was aboard the ship, standing on a stack of wooden pallets used in loading the ship, and that the sole cause of the injury was a latent defect in one of the planks of a pallet, which caused it to break. He held that the defective pallet supplied by the chartering corporation rendered the ship unseaworthy, and that, therefore, petitioner could recover against the ship. The corporation contended that it could not be held liable in damages to petitioner, because it was petitioner's employer, and the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides that compensation liability of an employer under that Act is exclusive and in place of any other liability on his part.

Held: Petitioner was not barred by that Act from relying on the corporation's liability as a shipowner pro hac vice for the ship's unseaworthiness in order to support his libel in rem against the ship. Pp. 373 U. S. 410-416.

307 F.2d 203 reversed.

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