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Steel Coils, Inc. v. M/V Lake Marion
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
331 F.3d 422 (2003), cert denied, 540 U.S. 949 (2003)
Steel Coils, Inc. (Steel) (plaintiff) contracted to have coils of steel shipped from Russia to the United States. Lake Marion, Inc. (defendant), the owner of the ship M/V Lake Marion (defendant), which was operated by Bay Ocean Management, Inc. (Bay Ocean) (defendant), was chartered to ship the coils. However, the defendants failed to test whether the ship’s hatches were watertight. The coils were damaged by sea water while in transit. The damage was determined to have been caused during transit because the bills of lading and a cargo survey noted the good condition of the coils at the time of loading. Additionally, tests were conducted on the coils once the ship arrived in the destination port, showing that the damage was caused by sea water. Steel brought suit for damages under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA), 46 U.S.C. § 1300, et seq., against the defendants. The district court entered judgment for Steel. The defendants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, contending that the district court erred in applying the burden of proof and defenses under COGSA.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Higginbotham, J.)
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