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U.S. Supreme Court

Compania de Navegacion v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., 277 U.S. 66 (1928)

Compania de Navegacion Interior, S.A.

v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Company

Nos. 510 to 520, inclusive*

Argued April 19, 1928

Decided May 14, 1928

277 U.S. 66


1. A clause in a towage contract declaring that the towing boat shall not be responsible in any way for loss or damage to the tow does not release the former from loss or damage due to the negligence of her master or crew. P. 277 U. S. 73.

2. For a loss thus occasioned, the insurers of the tow would be subrogated to the claim of her owner. Id.

3. The meaning of the terms "seaworthiness" and "perils of the sea" applied to contracts of marine insurance, varies with the circumstances and the exceptional features of the risk known to both parties. Pp. 277 U. S. 78-81.

4. Where a small vessel, constructed for service as a tug on inland waters, was insured for a voyage in tow over the open sea under policies which exacted extra-heavy premiums because of the extraordinary risks and were entered into after the underwriters had made careful examination of her seaworthiness and had become informed of her character and condition, held that the implied warranty of "seaworthiness" was satisfied if the vessel was as fit for the voyage as reasonably could be expected of a vessel of her type, though, owing to her construction, she was unsuited to marine navigation, and that the "perils of the sea" against which she was insured included conditions of wind and water extremely dangerous in her case, though not so to ordinary sea-going vessels. Id.

19 F.2d 493, 496, reversed.

Certiorari, 275 U. S. 518, to eleven decrees of the circuit court of appeals reversing the district court and directing the dismissal of the libels. The suits were on policies of marine insurance covering the tugboat Wash chanrobles.com-red

Page 277 U. S. 67

Gray, which was lost in the Gulf of Mexico while in tow from Tampico to Galveston for a change of engines. chanrobles.com-red

Page 277 U. S. 70


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