United States v. Reliable Transfer Co.
United States Supreme Court
421 U.S. 397 (1975)
A tanker owned by Reliable Transfer Co. (Reliable) (plaintiff) became stranded on a sandbar. Reliable sued the United States (defendant) on the ground that the Coast Guard had negligently failed to maintain a flashing light that would have enabled the tanker’s captain to avoid the sandbar. A federal district court found Reliable to be 75 percent at fault and the Coast Guard to be 25 percent at fault. The court noted that the tanker’s captain had multiple devices for navigating past the sandbar but used none of them. On the basis of the divided-damages rule in admiralty law, however, the court ruled that each party was responsible for half of the damages to the tanker. The United States petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 171,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.