West v. United States, 361 U.S. 118 (1959)

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Author: U.S. Supreme Court

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West v. United States, 361 U.S. 118 (1959)

West v. United States


No. 11


Argued November 12, 1959
Decided December 7, 1959
361 U.S. 118

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT

Syllabus

This is a libel under the Public Vessels Act to recover damages from the United States, as shipowner, for injuries suffered by a shore-based employee of an independent contractor while working on a ship undergoing a complete overhaul at the contractor’s repair docks. The ship had been completely deactivated and stored for several years, and the contractor had been employed to overhaul it completely and make it seaworthy before it was reactivated. The ship was under the complete control of the contractor, and the only representatives of the Government aboard were there solely to serve as inspectors.

Held: The United States was not liable. Pp. 118-124.

1. There could be no express or implied warranty of seaworthiness to any person in the circumstances of this case. Seas Shipping Co. v. Sieracki, 328 U.S. 85, distinguished. Pp. 120-122.

2. In the circumstances of this case, the shipowner could not be charged with negligence in failing to maintain a safe place to work. Pp. 122-124.

256 F.2d 671 affirmed.

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Chicago: U.S. Supreme Court, "Syllabus," West v. United States, 361 U.S. 118 (1959) in 361 U.S. 118 Original Sources, accessed September 30, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LI9MG8J3HXSIVB9.

MLA: U.S. Supreme Court. "Syllabus." West v. United States, 361 U.S. 118 (1959), in 361 U.S. 118, Original Sources. 30 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LI9MG8J3HXSIVB9.

Harvard: U.S. Supreme Court, 'Syllabus' in West v. United States, 361 U.S. 118 (1959). cited in 1959, 361 U.S. 118. Original Sources, retrieved 30 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LI9MG8J3HXSIVB9.