Vincent v. Lake Erie Transportation case brief summary
F: TC ruled that D trespassed and is responsible for damages sustained to P’s dock from storm damage, $500.
D docked steamship at Vincent’s dock. As the D was unloading the boat, a severe storm developed. After unloading the
boat, D called for a tugboat to move the ship, but the storm was so bad, tugboats were not available. Due to the severity
of the storm, the D had no choice but to remain tied to the dock. While riding out the storm, some of the cables keeping
the boat attached to the dock broke, and the D had stronger cables tied to the dock as replacement. The storm rocked
the boat so hard that it smashed against the dock causing damages to P’s dock. He is given a license to tie up the dock.
I: When damages result from a trespass even though it is out of the hands of the trespasser, is the trespasser still
responsible for compensating the owner for damages?
R: PUBLIC NECESSITY MAY REQUIRE THE TAKING OF PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES; BUT OUR SYSTEM OF JURISPRUDENCE REQUIRES THAT COMPENSATION BE MADE
Co: this could be contract issue (dissenting opinion).
Ploof v. Putnam
81 Vt. 471, 71 A. 188 (1908)
Defendant’s demurrer to the counts was overruled; defendant appealed.
F: Plaintiff and his family were sailing in a sloop in Lake Champlain, when a violent tempest arose, compelling them to find
safety by mooring the boat to the defendant’s island dock. Defendant’s servant unmoored the sloop, which was then
driven upon the shore by the tempest. The sloop was destroyed and the family was injured. The plaintiff’s claim was set
forth in two counts: one in trespass and the other in case, that the defendant by his servant, negligently, carelessly, and wrongfully unmoored the sloop in disregard of his duty to permit the plaintiff to moor his sloop to the dock for reasons of
I: May necessity justify entries upon land and interferences with personal property that would otherwise have been
H: Yes. Judgment affirmed and cause remanded.
NECESSITY JUSTIFIES THE ENTRY UPON THE LAND OF ANOTHER
A: In many cases regarding the protection of property and the preservation of human life, it was held that necessity was
lawful and justified. The case must be remanded to resolve the question of whether the plaintiff could have moored to
nearby natural objects other than his dock with equal safety.
They had private right to be on the dock. (different situation from Vincent)... shipowner of Vincent had a privilege to tied
up the dock. If you