Monday, November 11, 2013

Ira S. Bushey & Sons, Inc. v. United States case brief

Ira S. Bushey & Sons, Inc. v. United States case brief summary
398 F.2d 167 (1968)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant federal government sought review of an order of the federal trial court which granted judgment in favor of defendant where defendant claimed it was not vicariously liable for the negligence of its employee crewmember in causing damage to defendant's property.

CASE FACTS

Plaintiff was an owner of a drydock in which defendant federal government was docking a ship. Defendant's employee, a ship crewmember, was drunk and opened tank valves which caused the ship to fall and destroy parts of the drydock. The trial court granted judgment in plaintiff's favor without determining damages. Defendant appealed claiming defendant was not liable where the crewmember's acts were not within the scope of his employment. The reviewing court held it had appellate jurisdiction where an admiralty act granted jurisdiction in cases in which public vessels caused tort damage.


DISCUSSION
The reviewing court affirmed the trial court holding defendant was properly held liable for damages caused to the drydock where it was reasonably foreseeable that a crewmember might cause some damage, whether negligently or intentionally. It was held immaterial that the employee's specific acts were not foreseen.

CONCLUSION


The reviewing court affirmed the trial court's judgment in favor of plaintiff holding where it was reasonably foreseeable that defendant's employee might cause some damage, whether intentionally or negligently, defendant was vicariously liable for its crewmember's negligence.

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