Bisso v. Inland Waterways Corp.
United States Supreme Court
349 U.S. 85, 1955 A.M.C. 899 (1955)
Bisso (plaintiff) contracted with Inland Waterways Corporation (Inland) (defendant) to tow Bisso’s oil barge up the Mississippi River. Bisso’s barge was unpowered and unmanned. The contract between Bisso and Inland contained two provisions that purported to release Inland from liability. First, the contract provided that the towing was done at Bisso’s “sole risk.” Second, the contract provided that all of Inland’s employees working on the towing vessel would be treated as Bisso employees during the towage for liability purposes. Inland’s negligent towing caused Bisso’s barge to collide with a pier and sink. Bisso filed a negligence suit against Inland to recover the damages. The district court enforced the exculpatory provisions of the contract and entered judgment in favor of Inland. The court of appeals affirmed. Bisso filed a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which the Court granted.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)
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