U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Ruling in Admiralty Case

In Bessemer & Lake Erie R.R. Co. v. Seaway Marine Transp., No. 08-4676, the Sixth Circuit decided the issue of liability and damages in an admiralty case.

As stated in the decision: "While it may be the case that a moving vessel must rebut the presumption to absolve itself of all liability, we know of no case law to the effect that the vessel must rebut the presumption to relieve itself of some liability - that is, to raise a comparative fault defense against the stationary object."

Thus, in reversing the judgment of the district court's grant of summary judgment as to liability, the court concluded that a genuine dispute of fact over plaintiff's comparative negligence existed.  Also, district court's rejection of plaintiff's claim for lost-profits claim is affirmed as plaintiff did not adequately disclose the basis of the claim.

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