North Pacific Steamship Co. v. Hall Brothers Marine Railway & Shipbuilding Co.

249 U.S. 119, 39 S.Ct. 221, 63 L.Ed. 510, 2010 AMC 1202 (1919)

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North Pacific Steamship Co. v. Hall Brothers Marine Railway & Shipbuilding Co.

United States Supreme Court
249 U.S. 119, 39 S.Ct. 221, 63 L.Ed. 510, 2010 AMC 1202 (1919)

Facts

North Pacific Steamship Co. (North Pacific) (defendant) owned the steamship Yucatan, which was in need of extensive repairs. The Yucatan had been wrecked, submerged, and damaged by ice prior to being brought to port in Puget Sound. North Pacific contracted with Hall Brothers Marine Railway & Shipbuilding Co. (Hall Brothers) (plaintiff) to repair the Yucatan and prepare it for a voyage to Alaska. The repair work took months and included the reconstruction and replacement of many parts of the ship. During that time, the Yucatan was moved repeatedly from the water to a dry dock and onto land as required by the nature of the work being done. After the repairs were completed, North Pacific failed to pay the entire balance owed to Hall Brothers for the work performed. Hall Brothers sued North Pacific under admiralty jurisdiction to recover the outstanding balance. North Pacific filed a crossclaim against Hall Brothers, but the court entered a decree for recovery for Hall Brothers and dismissed North Pacific’s crossclaim. North Pacific filed a motion to vacate the decree and dismiss the claim for lack of jurisdiction. The motion was denied, and North Pacific appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pitney, J.)

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