The City of Hartford and the Unit
APPEALS from the Circuit Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.
Hudson S. Rideout and others, owners of the schooner 'Abbie S. Oakes,' and Charles Robinson, owner of her cargo, filed their separate libels in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, against the steamboat 'City of Hartford' and the steam-tug 'Unit,' to recover, the first $8,000, and the second $4,500, damages, occasioned by the sinking of the schooner in East River, New York, which was caused by a collision between the 'City of Hartford' and her while she was in tow by the 'Unit.' In each of the cases the steamer and tug were claimed by their respective owners. In the first case, the claimant entered into a bond in the sum of $16,000, and a stipulation for costs for $250. In the second case, the bond was for $9,000, and the stipulation for costs for $250. The 'Unit' having been appraised at $3,000, her owners entered into a stipulation for value in that sum and for $250 costs.
The court, on final hearing, entered a decree in the first case that the libellants recover from the 'City of Hartford' the sum of $4,119.04 damages, with $56.29 interest and $234.19 costs; and dismissed the libel as to the 'Unit,' with costs against the libellants. In the second case, the court dismissed the libel as to the 'Unit,' and decreed that Robinson recover from the 'City of Hartford' $3,407.79 damages, with $8.52 interest and $142.64 costs. The owners of the schooner thereupon appealed to the Circuit Court from so much of the decree as dismissed their libel against the 'Unit,' and awarded costs against them. The company appealed from the entire decree in each case. Robinson did not appeal. The Circuit Court, upon hearing, entered in the first case a final decree, reversing that of the District Court, which dismissed the libel as to the 'Unit' and awarded costs to the claimants, and ordering and adjudging that the libellants recover of the 'City of Hartford' the sum of $2,087.67, being one-half of the damages sustained by the collision, together with interest thereon and the costs of seizure, and one-half of the general costs, making in all $2,674.54; that they recover of the 'Unit' $2,087.67, 'being the other one-half of the damages,' with interest, and the costs specially incurred by the proceedings against her, and one-half of the general costs, amounting in all to $2,787.54.
In the second case, the decree of the District Court was modified, and it was ordered and adjudged that Robinson recover against the 'City of Hartford' the sum of $1,856.66, being one half-part of the damages sustained by him by reason of the collision, including interest thereon to the date of the decree of the District Court, and the sum of $337.14 interest on said half-part to the date of the decree of the Circuit Court, and so much of his costs against said steamboat in the District Court as were incurred in the seizure, amounting to $102.90, with $18.60 interest thereon, together with one-half of the general costs of the Circuit Court, taxed at $14.35, amounting in all to $2,329.65.
From these decrees the Hartford and New York Steamboat Company, claimants of the steamboat, and Robinson, severally appealed to this court.
Mr. R. H. Huntley for the steamboat company.
Mr. Joseph H. Choate for the owners of the schooner, and Mr. Henry J. Scudder for Robinson.
MR. JUSTICE CLIFFORD delivered the opinion of the court.