148 F.3d 446 (5th Cir. 1998), 96-30829, American River Transp. Co. v. Kavo Kaliakra SS

Docket Nº:96-30829.
Citation:148 F.3d 446
Party Name:AMERICAN RIVER TRANS COMPANY, et al., Plaintiffs, American River Trans Company; Tulane Fleeting; New Orleans Shipyard, Inc.; Archer Daniels Midland Company; Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. KAVO KALIAKRA SS, her engines, tackle, appurtenances, etc., in rem, et al., Defendants, Kavo Kaliakra SS, her engines, tackle, appurtenances, etc., in rem; United Kingd
Case Date:July 22, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 446

148 F.3d 446 (5th Cir. 1998)

AMERICAN RIVER TRANS COMPANY, et al., Plaintiffs,

American River Trans Company; Tulane Fleeting; New Orleans

Shipyard, Inc.; Archer Daniels Midland Company;

Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

KAVO KALIAKRA SS, her engines, tackle, appurtenances, etc.,

in rem, et al., Defendants,

Kavo Kaliakra SS, her engines, tackle, appurtenances, etc.,

in rem; United Kingdom Mutual Steamship Assurance

Association (Bermuda) Ltd., in personam,

Defendants-Appellants,

and

Arosita Shipping Company, Ltd., Claimant-Defendant-Appellant.

AROSITA SHIPPING COMPANY, LTD., as owner of the M/V Kavo

Kaliakra; Gromar Shipping Company, Ltd., as owners of the

M/V Kavo Kaliakra; Gourdomichalis Maritime S A, as owners

of the M/V Kavo Kaliakra, Petitioners-Appellants,

v.

COMPASS CONDO CORP., et al., Claimants,

Compass Condo Corp.; New Orleans Shipyard, Inc.; Archer

Daniels Midland Company; Tulane Fleeting, Inc.,

Claimants-Appellees.

No. 96-30829.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

July 22, 1998

Page 447

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 448

Andre' J. Mouledoux, Georges M. Legrand, Charles Michael Parks, Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett, New Orleans, LA, for Plaintiffs-Appellees and New Orleans Shipyard, Inc.

Ashton R. O'Dwyer, Jr., Brandon E. Mary, Lemle & Kelleher, New Orleans, LA, for Petitioners-Appellants and Defendants-Appellants.

William J. Sommers, Jr., Terrence Christopher Forstall, Robert Pickren Kemp, Courtenay, Forstall, Hunter & Fontana, New Orleans, LA, for Compass Condo Corp.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Before WIENER, EMILIO M. GARZA and BENAVIDES, Circuit Judges.

BENAVIDES, Circuit Judge:

In this appeal, we consider whether the Pennsylvania Rule compels a finding that the presence in navigable water of barges that lacked a permit caused a carrier to allide with the barges. The district court entered judgment in favor of the barge owners, holding that the mere presence of the barges was not the cause of the allision. We affirm.

I.

On March 30, 1992, the M/V Kavo Kaliakra, a bulk carrier measuring approximately 825 feet and weighing approximately 65,000 tons, fully laden with a cargo of corn, allided with barges fleeted at the Tulane Fleeting Facility on the Mississippi River near Waggaman, Louisiana.

For approximately a year and a half prior to the allision, American River Transportation Co., Archer Daniels Midland Co., Tulane Fleeting, Inc., New Orleans Shipyard, Inc., and Compass Condo Corp. (collectively "ARTCO") had been running a barge-washing operation at the Tulane Fleeting Facility. The facility consisted of a permanently moored floating barge dock, measuring approximately 240 feet long and 50 feet wide, which served as a station where ARTCO temporarily tied inland river hopper barges for cleaning and repairs.

On March 30, 1992, two fleets of barges were moored at the facility: an upriver fleet consisting of twenty barges moored in two tiers of ten, and a downriver fleet consisting of eight barges moored in two tiers of four. The M/V Kavo Kaliakra was headed downriver at 11-12 knots when it lost all power and steering. The vessel drifted for about two miles, slowing to a speed of approximately 2-3 knots before alliding with the outermost barge of the upriver fleet of barges at the Tulane facility, scraping alongside it at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. The force of the impact caused the permanently moored barge to move about 20...

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