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United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company v. Plovidba

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
683 F.2d 1022 (1982)


Patrick Huck was a longshoreman who died on a ship owned by Plovidba (defendant). The ship had five holds with three decks above each hold. Decks on the same level were connected by a door. When the longshoremen finished their daily work on each hold, they moved to the next hold. There was no reason for a longshoreman to return to a completed hold later in a day. Once the longshoremen were done with a hold, the ship’s crew closed the top deck above the hold but opened the bottom two decks to expedite cargo-loading the following day. With the top deck closed, the hold below was completely dark. On the day Huck died, he and the other longshoremen had completed their work on the first hold. The lower decks above that hold were thus opened. Huck died when he walked through the door connecting the middle deck of the second hold with the middle deck of the first hold. Because the middle and lower decks above the first hold were open, Huck fell to the bottom of the first hold. The United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company (the Company) (plaintiff) filed suit against Plovidba. The jury found in favor of Plovidba. The Company appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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