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Edmonds v. Compagnie Generale Transatlantique
United States Supreme Court
443 U.S. 256, 99 S.Ct. 2753, 61 L.Ed.2d 521, 1979 AMC 1167 (1979)
Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (CGT) (defendant) owned a cargo ship, the Atlantic Cognac, and contracted with a stevedore-contractor, Nacirema Operating Co. (Nacirema), to unload the cargo. One of Nacirema’s longshoreman-employees, Stanley Edmonds (plaintiff) was injured during that work. Edmonds received benefits under the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and also sued CGT in federal court for negligence. The jury determined that Edmonds was entitled to $100,000 in damages. The jury further found that Edmonds had himself been 10 percent responsible for the accident, that CGT had been 20 percent responsible, and that Nacirema had been 70 percent responsible. The court ordered CGT to pay the full amount to Edmonds, minus the 10 percent attributable to Edmonds’s own negligence, but held that under maritime law it could not reduce the award against CGT for the portion attributable to Nacirema’s negligence. CGT appealed. The court of appeals reversed the decision, holding that CGT was only liable for the portion due to its own negligence under the 1972 amendments to the LHWCA. Edmonds appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)
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