46 F.3d 501 (5th Cir. 1995), 94-30258, Minerais United States Inc. Exalmet Division v. M/V MOSLAVINA, Her Engines, Boilers, Turner Marine Bulk, Inc.

Docket Nº:94-30258.
Citation:46 F.3d 501
Party Name:MINERAIS U.S. INC., EXALMET DIVISION, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. M/V MOSLAVINA, her engines, boilers, etc., et al., Defendants, Turner Marine Bulk, Inc., Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:March 06, 1995
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 501

46 F.3d 501 (5th Cir. 1995)

MINERAIS U.S. INC., EXALMET DIVISION, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

M/V MOSLAVINA, her engines, boilers, etc., et al., Defendants,

Turner Marine Bulk, Inc., Defendant-Appellee.

No. 94-30258.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

March 6, 1995

Rehearing Denied April 11, 1995.

Page 502

A. Carter Mills, IV, John C. Persons, Montgomery, Barnett, Brown, Read, Hammond & Mintz, New Orleans, LA, for appellant.

Richard B. Foster, Lemle & Kelleher, New Orleans, LA, for appellee.

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

Before REAVLEY, DUHE and PARKER, Circuit Judges.

DUHE, Circuit Judge:

Defendant Turner Marine Bulk, a New Orleans stevedore, negligently commingled two lots of ferrochrome that Plaintiff Minerais U.S. Inc. was importing for resale in the United States. Minerais had purchased 700 metric tons (MT) high grade ferrochrome and 1000 MT low grade ferrochrome; 250 MT high grade ferrochrome escaped damage, and the remaining 450 MT high grade and the 1000 MT low grade ferrochrome were commingled. None of the combined material fell within the higher grade, and Plaintiff was forced to downgrade 450 MT high grade material to low grade for purposes of resale. This appeal concerns only the issue of damages.

The district court awarded damages based on wholesale values of the material (i.e., wholesale value of 450 MT high grade ferrochrome minus wholesale value of 450 MT low grade ferrochrome), finding that Plaintiff failed to establish the fair market value as the appropriate measure of damages. Holding that Plaintiff adequately established fair market values, we reverse and remand for application of the market-value rule using retail values as specified herein.

I. The Market-Value Rule.

The market-value rule requires that damages be calculated using market values at the time the cargo is discharged. Such a damage award places the injured cargo owner in the same position it was in before the damage. The market-value rule makes the cargo claimant whole by awarding him the difference between the fair market value of the undamaged cargo and the fair market value of the cargo as damaged on the date of discharge at the port of destination. Cook Indus., Inc. v. Barge UM-308, 622 F.2d 851, 854 (5th Cir.1980).

Nothing in Illinois Central Railroad v...

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