District Court for the Southern District of New York:
"There is no statute of limitations in admiralty but the doctrine of laches is applied in lieu thereof, and what constitutes laches is, of course, to be determined upon the particular facts in each case. By analogy the courts apply the state statutes which, while an inflexible fiat so far as their effect in State Courts is concerned, are but a yardstick here. However, it is necessary for the libelant to show exceptional circumstances in order to warrant the Court in applying a rule more flexible in determining the issue as to laches because there is a presumption of prejudice where the suit in admiralty for personal injuries was not commenced until after a case at law in the State Court had been barred by the statute of limitations."
I am in accord with the rule enunciated in The Mistress case and the other authorities cited by the respondents. However, under the facts as they now appear, I cannot agree with the respondents that the exceptions to the libel should be sustained on the ground of laches. The action was brought within the 2-year period after the termination of the voyage and while the delay is certainly criticizable it is not, in my opinion, sufficient to bar the action.
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