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White v. Island Transportation Co., 233 U.S. 346 (1914)

White v. Island Transportation Company

No. 206

Submitted January 26, 1914

Decided April 13, 1914

233 U.S. 346


The jurisdiction of a district court in a proceeding in admiralty to limit the liability of a ship owner, under Rev.Stat., §§ 4283 et seq., is not ousted merely because a damage claimant puts in issue the allegation in the petition or libel that the damage was occasioned without the privity or knowledge of the owner. Butler v. Boston Steamship Co., 130 U. S. 527.

In a proceeding in admiralty under Rev.Stat. §§ 4283 et seq., question of fact, whether jurisdictional or otherwise, are to be settled by a trial, and where the petition alleges that the damage or injury, liability for which is sought to be limited, was occasioned without the privity or knowledge of the owner, and the damage claimant waives proof of that allegation, it must be taken as true, and there will be no defect of jurisdiction in that regard.

Under Rev.Stat. §§ 4283 et seq. and Admiralty Rules 53-57, a proceeding to limit the liability of the ship owner may be maintained whether there be a plurality of claims or only one.

The facts, which involve the construction and application of the statutes regarding limitation of liability of vessel owners, are stated in the opinion.

Page 233 U. S. 347

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