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Payne v. S.S. Nabob

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
302 F.2d 803 (3d Cir. 1962)


Payne (plaintiff) brought a personal injury admiralty action against the S.S. Nabob (defendant). Payne filed a pretrial memorandum indicating that he was relying on a defective winch to make his case. The court’s pretrial order—which the court termed a “pretrial report”—outlined this issue and listed the witnesses that Payne’s pretrial memorandum indicated he would be calling. Payne did not object to the order’s outline of his argument. At trial, Payne’s attorney argued as part of his case that the loading of the ship had been handled improperly, thus helping to make the winch “unseaworthy.” The attorney for the S.S. Nabob objected, arguing that the loading issue was outside the pretrial memorandum and report. The court upheld the objection. The court also refused to allow two witnesses for Payne testify because Payne had not included them in his pretrial memorandum. Payne appealed, arguing that a “pretrial report” is just that—a report—and not a binding order.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (McLaughlin, J.)

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