Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

McClure v. United States Lines Co.

368 F.2d 197 (1966)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...

McClure v. United States Lines Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

368 F.2d 197 (1966)

Facts

Eugene McClure was a drunk American seaman in France who was trying to return from shore leave to his ship, the Keystone State. However, McClure attempted to board the American Angler, which was moored one mile from McClure’s ship. The American Angler’s chief engineer gave McClure coffee and sat him 20 to 25 feet from the dock’s edge. McClure was restrained twice from leaving the area because he was too intoxicated to walk alone along the waterfront. The American Angler’s master, chief engineer, and other crew members assisted McClure. Eventually, the master left McClure and returned to the American Angler. The chief engineer then offered to help McClure find the Keystone State. The chief engineer told McClure to wait on the dock while he retrieved his jacket, and no one watched McClure while the chief engineer got his coat. McClure fell into the water. Although McClure was promptly retrieved from the water by the American Angler crew members, attempts to revive him failed. Ava McClure (plaintiff), McClure’s widow, sought damages for her husband’s death from United States Lines Company (defendant), the owner of the American Angler, in federal district court. Professor von Mehren of Harvard Law School testified on behalf of McClure’s widow to prove French law. Von Mehren testified there was no precedent for imposing liability on a person who did not voluntarily abstain from rendering assistance but whose efforts were ineffectual. Because the American Angler crew members had not voluntarily abstained from assisting McClure, the district court concluded there was no violation of French law. However, von Mehren further testified that implicit in Article 63 of the French Penal Code and Articles 1382 and 1383 of the French Civil Code was a duty to act with care in rendering the requisite assistance. The district court found no violation of French law and, alternatively, no negligence on the part of the American Angler’s crew. McClure’s widow appealed, arguing that the court’s finding of fact was wrong and reversible, and that the court’s construction of French law was erroneous.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Haynsworth, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 602,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. 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.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 602,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 briefs, keyed to 984 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.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 602,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 33,600 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership