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Sisson v. Ruby

497 U.S. 358, 110 S.Ct. 2892, 111 L.Ed.2d 292, 1990 AMC 1801 (1990)

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Sisson v. Ruby

United States Supreme Court

497 U.S. 358, 110 S.Ct. 2892, 111 L.Ed.2d 292, 1990 AMC 1801 (1990)

Facts

Everett Sisson (defendant) owned the Ultorian, a 56-foot pleasure boat. A fire broke out on the Ultorian when it was docked at a marina on Lake Michigan, a navigable waterway. The fire destroyed the Ultorian and damaged the marina and several neighboring vessels. The owners of the marina and the neighboring vessels (the owners) (plaintiffs) brought claims in federal court against Sisson for damages. Sisson sought to assert admiralty jurisdiction over the claims because if the claims were brought under admiralty law his liability would be limited by federal statute. The owners asserted that there was no admiralty jurisdiction over the matter, in which case Sisson’s liability would be unlimited. The issue of whether the district court had admiralty jurisdiction over Sisson’s limitation claim eventually came before the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)

Concurrence (Scalia, J.)

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