720 F.2d 1201 (11th Cir. 1983), 81-6005, Hercules Carriers, Inc. v. State of Fla.

Docket Nº:81-6005.
Citation:720 F.2d 1201
Party Name:In the Matter of the Complaint of HERCULES CARRIERS, INC., for exoneration from or limitation of liability as Owner of the M/V Summit Venture, Plaintiffs- Appellees, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, et al., Claimants, Canadian Transport Company, Clipper Maritime Co., Ltd., I.S. Joseph Company, Inc., Ultraocean S.A., Sabine Towing & Transportation Company, Clai
Case Date:November 16, 1983
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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Page 1201

720 F.2d 1201 (11th Cir. 1983)

In the Matter of the Complaint of HERCULES CARRIERS, INC.,

for exoneration from or limitation of liability as

Owner of the M/V Summit Venture,

Plaintiffs- Appellees,

v.

STATE OF FLORIDA, et al., Claimants,

Canadian Transport Company, Clipper Maritime Co., Ltd., I.S.

Joseph Company, Inc., Ultraocean S.A., Sabine

Towing & Transportation Company,

Claimants- Appellants.

No. 81-6005.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

November 16, 1983

Opinion on Granting Rehearing En Banc Dec. 13, 1983.

Page 1202

Jack C. Rinard, Ted R. Manry, III, Tampa, Fla., for Canadian transport et al.

Kent Westmoreland, Houston, Tex., for Sabine Towing.

Dewey R. Villareal, Jr., Tampa, Fla., for Hercules Carriers.

James O. Davis, Jr., Tampa, Fla., for Judith T. Curtin.

Richard F. Ralph, Miami, Fla., for Greyhound Lines.

David G. Hanlon, Tampa, Fla., for State of Fla. (Dept. of Transp.).

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Before GODBOLD, Chief Judge, HENDERSON and CLARK, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

On May 9, 1980, the M/V Summit Venture, owned by Hercules Carriers, Inc., a foreign corporation, struck the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which spans the entrance of Tampa Bay. As a result of the collision, damaged and sunken portions of the bridge blocked other vessels' passage to and from the port of Tampa for several days.

Hercules Carriers, as the Summit Venture's owner, filed in district court a Complaint for Exoneration from and Limitation of Liability. The owners of delayed vessels responded with claims for damages for the costs incurred in maintaining those vessels and their crews. These costs included provisions, wharfage charges, additional towing charges, fuel, seamen's wages and loss of the vessels' use.

The district court had already dismissed similar claims made by other parties against another ship, the Capricorn. A few months before the Summit Venture struck the Skyway, the Capricorn had been involved in another collision, the wreckage of which had also blocked passage to and from the port of Tampa. The district court, for reasons stated in its earlier order of dismissal in the Capricorn's case, dismissed as well the present claims against Hercules.

A panel of this circuit has affirmed the district court's earlier order dismissing claims against the Capricorn. Kingston Shipping Co. v. Roberts, 667 F.2d 34 (11th Cir.1982). That affirming decision controls the present case.

AFFIRMED.

CLARK, Circuit Judge, concurring specially.

I. Recovery for Pecuniary Loss for Unintentional

Interference with Contract

The judgment of the district court must be affirmed in light of Kingston, but respectfully, I think that the panel in Kingston erred in its holding and in its reliance on Robins Dry Dock & Repair Co. v. Flint, 275 U.S. 303, 48 S.Ct. 134, 72 L.Ed. 290 (1927). The issue in this case is whether a shipowner, whose vessel negligently obstructs passage of the channel from the port of Tampa to the Gulf of Mexico, is liable in damages for actual costs incurred by vessels which are required to remain in the port pending removal of the obstructing vessel.

The Robins rule is not applicable because the facts here and in Kingston are significantly different from the facts in Robins. In Robins, the time charterer of the S/S Bjornefjord sought damages from the dry dock company for loss of use of the chartered vessel. While the Bjornefjord was in the dry dock for normal repairs, the dry dock company negligently damaged the vessel's propeller causing her to be detained several additional days. The dry dock company settled with the Bjornefjord's owner. As to the time charterer, the Supreme Court held, "[A] tort to the person or property of one man [the ship's owner] does not make the tortfeasor liable to another [the time charterer] merely because the injured person was under a contract with that other,

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unknown to the doer of the wrong." 275 U.S. at 309, 48 S.Ct. at 135, 72 L.Ed. at 292. The Court elucidated its grounds for denying recovery to the time charterer as follows:

The question is whether the respondents [the time charterers] have an interest protected by the law against unintended injuries inflicted upon the vessel by third persons who know nothing of the charter. If they [the charterers] have, it must be worked...

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