Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Barber Lines A/S v. M/V Donau Maru case brief

Barber Lines A/S v. M/V Donau Maru case brief summary
764 F.2d 50 (1985)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellants challenged the decision of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts that found in favor of appellees in an action in which appellants sought recovery for financial injury caused by appellees' negligence.

CASE FACTS
Appellees' ship spilled fuel oil in a harbor, which prevented appellants' ship from docking at a nearby berth. Appellants had to discharge their cargo at another pier and incur extra costs. Appellants sued appellees and her owners in admiralty. Appellants claimed negligence and sought recover of the extra expenses as damages.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The lower court denied recovery on the basis of the pleadings and appellants challenged the decision.

DISCUSSION

  • The appellate court agreed with the lower court and affirmed its decision. 
  • The court found that controlling case law denied that appellants could recover damages for negligently caused financial harm, even when foreseeable, except in special circumstances. 
  • Since appellants failed to bring themselves within any recognized class or category in which financial damages were already allowed or to provide convincing reasons for the creation of any new exception that would work to their legal benefit, the court refused to depart from existing precedent.
CONCLUSION
Appellate court affirmed lower court's decision when court found that it should follow existing precedent that required it to deny recovery because appellants failed to bring themselves within any recognized class in which financial damages were allowed as well as failed to provide convincing reasons for creation of new exception.

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