Willings et al. v. Blight

30 Fed. Cas. 50 (1800)

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Willings et al. v. Blight

United States Circuit Court for the District of Pennsylvania
30 Fed. Cas. 50 (1800)

Facts

Willings (plaintiff) was one of four owners of the ship Amelia. Willings and two other owners wished to outfit and send the boat to Spain on a commercial journey. However, the fourth owner, Peter Blight (defendant), who owned an undivided one-fourth interest in the ship, did not wish to send the ship on such a voyage. In lieu of any partition action, Willings and his fellow owners requested the court to authorize the owners to outfit and send the ship to Spain, and the court agreed with this request. However, the freight of the ship was the main concern. Blight wished to have his share of the profits on the successful return of the ship. Willings and the other owners argued that as Blight did not wish to undertake the voyage and did not participate in the expense of the voyage, the voyage should not cause Blight any financial loss, but Blight should not gain any profits if the voyage were completed successfully. The particular issue of Blight’s potential profits was the main question before the court. Prior cases indicated that majority owners of a ship could compel the ship to sail, but minority owners could not. However, the issue of the accumulated profits of such a ship was novel to the court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Peters, J.)

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