From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. SS Zoe Colocotroni
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
628 F.2d 652 (1981)
In 1973, the SS Zoe Colocotroni (ship) (defendant), a tramp-oil tanker, became lost and grounded on a reef. In an attempt to free the ship, the ship’s captain emptied the cargo of crude oil into the sea. The oil floated westward into Bahia Sucia, a bay off of Puerto Rico. The oil entered the bay, the beaches, and the mangrove forests near the bay. The United States Coast Guard and several agencies of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Commonwealth) (plaintiff) began a cleanup operation. Subsequently, the Commonwealth and the local Environmental Quality Board (EQB) (plaintiff) brought suit against the ship and its owners (defendants) to recover damages for harm done to the coastal environment by the oil. After trial, during which various experts testified, the federal district court awarded damages to the plaintiffs based on the replacement cost of the approximately 92,109,720 marine animals killed by the oil spill. The plaintiffs had expressly stated at trial that they did not intend to replace all the animals, but rather were suggesting this value as an approximation. The defendants appealed, arguing that the correct standard was the diminution of value after the oil spill, and that damages therefore could not exceed $5,000 per affected acre because the market value of the land was no more than $5,000 per acre.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Campbell, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 219,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.