Woods v. U.S., Dept. of Transp., No. 81-3212

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore RUBIN, JOHNSON and GARWOOD; ALVIN B. RUBIN
Citation681 F.2d 988
PartiesJohn R. WOODS, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION and United States Coast Guard, Defendants-Appellees. Summary Calendar.
Decision Date04 August 1982
Docket NumberNo. 81-3212

Page 988

681 F.2d 988
1985 A.M.C. 2112
John R. WOODS, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION and
United States Coast Guard, Defendants-Appellees.
No. 81-3212
Summary Calendar.
United States Court of Appeals,
Fifth Circuit.
Aug. 4, 1982.

Page 989

John S. Hunter, New Orleans, La., for plaintiff-appellant.

William F. Baity, Asst. U. S. Atty., New Orleans, La., for defendants-appellees.

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

Before RUBIN, JOHNSON and GARWOOD, Circuit Judges.

ALVIN B. RUBIN, Circuit Judge:

The holder of a master's license challenges the Coast Guard's admonishment of him for negligence. Finding that the district court correctly upheld the Coast Guard action, we affirm.

About 6:00 a. m. on July 27, 1976, Woods was operating the M/V BILL FROREICH in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, pushing four empty barges in tandem, each about 190 feet long. The weather was good, the day clear. As the FROREICH flotilla entered a bend in the waterway, Woods saw an approaching flotilla, then about 200 yards from the M/V FROREICH's lead

Page 990

barge. Woods gave a one-whistle warning to indicate a port-to-port passing, and reversed his engines. The flotillas passed without incident, but the M/V FROREICH's lead barge collided with a wharf and a boat moored to the bank.

This allision resulted in a charge of negligence being brought against Woods by the Coast Guard. An administrative law judge conducted a hearing and admonished appellant pursuant to the Coast Guard's charge. The Coast Guard Vice Commandant affirmed the ALJ's decision on appeal. Stating that there was sufficient evidence in the record to support the ALJ's decision, the district court granted appellee's motion for summary judgment.

When a moving vessel collides with a fixed object there is a presumption that the moving vessel is at fault, and this presumption suffices to make out a prima facie case of negligence against the vessel. Brown and Root Marine Operators, Inc. v. Zapata Off-Shore Co., 377 F.2d 724, 726 (5th Cir. 1967). The burden of disproof of fault by the moving vessel requires demonstration that its operator did all that reasonable care required. Id. The presumption of negligence applies to the operator as well as to the vessel. It works against all parties participating in the management of the vessel at the time of contact. Merrill Trust Co. v. Bradford, 507 F.2d 467, 471 (1st...

To continue reading

Request your trial
18 practice notes
  • Pillsbury Co. v. Midland Enterprises, Inc., Civ. A. No. 87-5041.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Louisiana
    • June 21, 1989
    ...this Court is able to resolve this case solely on negligence grounds, the Court does not decide this issue. 43 See Woods v. United States, 681 F.2d 988, 990 (5th Cir.1982) (compulsory pilot was presumed negligent); cf. Compania de Navigacion Porto Ronco v. S/S American Oriole, 474 F.Supp. 2......
  • SCF Waxler Marine LLC v. M/V Aris T, CIVIL ACTION NO. 16-902
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Louisiana)
    • November 19, 2019
    ..., 558 F.2d 790, 795 (5th Cir. 1977) ; Delta Transload , 818 F.2d at 449 ; James , 686 F.2d at 1132 ; Woods v. U.S. Dep't of Transp. , 681 F.2d 988, 990 (5th Cir. 1982) ). The Oregon Rule's "presumption derives from the common-sense observation that moving vessels do not usually collide with......
  • McDonald v. Department of Professional Regulation, Bd. of Pilot Com'rs, No. 89-246
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 13, 1991
    ...or mechanical difficulties is prima facie evidence of negligence in piloting the vessel. Woods v. United States Dep't of Transp., 681 F.2d 988, 990 (5th Cir.1982). However, due to the difficulty of the maneuver attempted, the hearing officer recommended a $500 fine, rather than suspension o......
  • Bunge Corporation v. Freeport Marine Repair Inc., 11
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • February 9, 2001
    ...not just against the ship, but against all parties who participated in the management of the vessel. Woods v. Department of Transp., 681 F.2d 988, 990 (5th Therefore, when the district court determined that Hull No. 40 fell within the purview of the Louisiana Rule, Freeport had the burden t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Pillsbury Co. v. Midland Enterprises, Inc., Civ. A. No. 87-5041.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Louisiana
    • June 21, 1989
    ...this Court is able to resolve this case solely on negligence grounds, the Court does not decide this issue. 43 See Woods v. United States, 681 F.2d 988, 990 (5th Cir.1982) (compulsory pilot was presumed negligent); cf. Compania de Navigacion Porto Ronco v. S/S American Oriole, 474 F.Supp. 2......
  • SCF Waxler Marine LLC v. M/V Aris T, CIVIL ACTION NO. 16-902
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Louisiana)
    • November 19, 2019
    ..., 558 F.2d 790, 795 (5th Cir. 1977) ; Delta Transload , 818 F.2d at 449 ; James , 686 F.2d at 1132 ; Woods v. U.S. Dep't of Transp. , 681 F.2d 988, 990 (5th Cir. 1982) ). The Oregon Rule's "presumption derives from the common-sense observation that moving vessels do not usually collide with......
  • McDonald v. Department of Professional Regulation, Bd. of Pilot Com'rs, No. 89-246
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • June 13, 1991
    ...or mechanical difficulties is prima facie evidence of negligence in piloting the vessel. Woods v. United States Dep't of Transp., 681 F.2d 988, 990 (5th Cir.1982). However, due to the difficulty of the maneuver attempted, the hearing officer recommended a $500 fine, rather than suspension o......
  • Bunge Corporation v. Freeport Marine Repair Inc., 11
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • February 9, 2001
    ...not just against the ship, but against all parties who participated in the management of the vessel. Woods v. Department of Transp., 681 F.2d 988, 990 (5th Therefore, when the district court determined that Hull No. 40 fell within the purview of the Louisiana Rule, Freeport had the burden t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT