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Petition of Kinsman Transit Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
338 F.2d 708 (1964)


Chunks of ice floating downstream in the Buffalo River knocked the Shiras, a barge owned by Kinsman Transit Company (Kinsman) (defendant), loose from its moorings at a dock owned and operated by Continental Grain Company (Continental) (defendant). The Shiras floated downstream and collided with another moored barge, the Tewksbury, owned by Midland Steamship Line, Inc. (Midland) (defendant), causing both ships to travel along the river toward a bridge. Despite being informed about the approaching vessels, City of Buffalo (the City) (defendant) employees failed to raise the bridge in time to allow the barges and ice to float underneath. Instead, the vessels destroyed the bridge. The wreckage from the bridge and vessels dammed up the river, causing injuries, flooding, and property damage to multiple parties (plaintiffs). Those parties filed suit against defendants. An admiralty decree adjudicated liability on Kinsman and Continental for damages caused to the Tewksbury and others. Further, Kinsman, Continental, and the City were held jointly and severally liable for injuries caused by the collapse of the bridge. Six of the defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Friendly, J.)

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