Monday, April 29, 2013

LLoyd v. American Export Lines case brief

LLoyd v. American Export Lines case brief
580 F.2d 1179, 1978 U.S. App.

CASE SYNOPSIS: Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in which the court held a ship did not breach its warranty of seaworthiness, but was nevertheless negligent.

FACTS: This lawsuit resulted from an altercation between a crewmember and an electrician on their ship. Electrician filed an action against the ship and alleged negligence under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C.S. § 688 and unseaworthiness under general maritime law. The ship joined the crewmember as a third party defendant and crewmember counterclaimed against the ship for negligence and unseaworthiness. The electrician did not proceed in his case and his complaint was dismissed. After a trial on crewmember's counterclaim, the jury found the ship had not breached its warranty of seaworthiness, but was negligent. Both parties appealed.

On appeal, the court determined competent evidence was erroneously excluded and reversed the case. In particular, the court held Fed R. Evid. 803(22) governed the admissibility of a party's record of conviction. Here, the court erred in refusing to accept a Japanese judgment of conviction against crewmember because the evidence was a final judgment.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed and remanded the lower court's decision because it held competent evidence was erroneously excluded in the lower court.

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