Alicante and Tarragona, Spain, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
5. The ocean carriers from Alicante and Tarragona, Spain, were the Ebro and the Darro, neither of which was owned, operated or controlled by the claimant-respondent.
6. The said through bills of lading provided for transshipment of the merchandise at Cadiz to the Vizcaya.
7. The through bills of lading acknowledge receipt of the merchandise in apparent good order and condition.
8. There is no evidence that, at the time he issued the through bills of lading, Emilio Huart was acting for the Vizcaya or the respondent. He was the Vizcaya's agent at Cadiz at the time of the loading thereon.
9. Upon arrival at Cadiz the Ebro and Darro discharged the bags of filberts and almonds, employing stevedores who used hooks in the course of handling the bags.
10. The bags of filberts and almonds were placed on the dock at Cadiz, from which point they were shortly thereafter loaded aboard the Steamship Vizcaya for carriage to Philadelphia.
11. While the bags of filberts and almonds were on the dock prior to being loaded on the Vizcaya, many of the said bags were found to be cut, torn, slack, leaking and in other than good condition.
12. Some of the cut and torn bags were re-sewed on the dock and others were resewed on board the Vizcaya before being stowed in the holds.
13. Bad order notations were made on dock receipts in respect to sixty-two such bags.
14. Captain Arana of the Vizcaya issued six ocean bills of lading covering the several parts of the shipment consigned to libellants' designee, with bad order notations on Bills of Lading No. 11, No. 46 and No. 48.
15. Each of the six bills of lading issued by the Vizcaya to cover libellants' goods provided for shipment of the same from Cadiz to Philadelphia, freight from Cadiz to Philadelphia only, with certain exceptions for damage.
16. Each of the said bills of lading stated that it was 'to be delivered against original B/L' issued for the same parcel at the point of original shipment.
17. The bills of lading issued by the Vizcaya at Cadiz contained a printed provision stating: 'I do not know the weight contents, quality and condition of the merchandise and I am not responsible for breakage or spillage,' under which appears the signature of Captain Arana.
18. The bags of filberts and almonds were stowed in Holds No. 3 and No. 4 of The Vizcaya. They were laid flat on a platform of dunnage over cases of wine in Hold No. 3, and over a similar platform over butts of wine in Hold No. 4. The bags were overlapping, the bottom tier running fore-and-aft, the second tier running cross-wise, and so on in alternate tiers. The bags were placed three tiers high in Hold No. 3 and five tiers high in Hold No. 4, and extended from wing to wing except for a space between the outer edge of the stow and the skin of the ship estimated to be one foot wide, and a space of about six inches between the sacks and the frames of the ship, which were exposed.
19. The Vizcaya had a series of metal braces or frames which extended diagonally from the sides of the holds to the under side of the deck, the purpose being to support the deck. These protruded into the cargo carrying space of the holds.
20. Some of the sacks of nuts were piled so that the tops of the piles extended above the frames or braces.
21. No dunnage or other protection was placed along the sides of the stow of sacks or against the exposed ribs and sides of the hold to protect the sacks from damage or to hold them in position.
22. The sacks in which the nuts were packed were of good and sufficient quality, and of the type and kind customarily used for such shipments.
23. A certificate of good stowage was issued for the Vizcaya at Cadiz by the agents of Lloyd's underwriters.
24. The Vizcaya encountered heavy seas and high winds ranging up to force 10 on the Beaufort scale in the course of her voyage between Huelva, where she stopped for bunkers, and Bermuda, to which she deviated to obtain additional coal.
25. The coal taken on at Huelva was inferior. This was determinable upon the exercise of due diligence, and was known at the time of departure from that port.
26. Because of the inferiority of the coal, pressure was never sufficient for the trip, and at certain times complete control was lost leaving the Vizcaya adrift at the mercy of the weather.
27. During the trip, the centrifugal pump broke down, and the steering apparatus jammed, leaving the Vizcaya adrift in severe weather for two days and for ten hours on each occasion.
28. The weather encountered on the voyage, while severe, was not of unexpected severity and was such that it should have been anticipated during a westward crossing of the North Atlantic in winter.
29. Many of the sacks of nuts were found to be damaged upon arrival of the Vizcaya in Philadelphia and much of the contents was lost upon discharge.
30. The damaged sacks were divided into two groups. The first group was distinguished by a cut lengthwise on the flat side of each sack apparently cut by a sharp-pointed instrument; the second group by tears resulting from chafing of the sack against the skin and/or frames of the Vizcaya as evidenced by the rust and paint marks visible at the place of the tear.
31. The damage to the second group of sacks was caused in whole or in part by the failure on the part of the claimant-respondent, the ship, its officers or men to exercise due diligence to make the Vizcaya seaworthy and reasonably fit for the carriage of its cargo across the Atlantic in the winter season.
I state the following
Conclusions of Law
1. The libellants were the owners of the goods in question and are entitled to recover in this action.
2. The Court has jurisdiction over the Vizcaya in rem and Compania Anonima Maritima Union in personam.
3. Claimant-respondent and the Vizcaya are not liable for the damage to the first group of sacks as described above in Finding of Fact No. 30.
4. Claimant-respondent and the Vizcaya are liable for the damage to the second group of sacks as described in Finding of Fact No. 30, since that damage was caused, all or in part, by the unseaworthiness of the Vizcaya in respect to which due diligence was not exercised.
An Order may be submitted in proper form in conformity with this Opinion, including a provision for a reference to a Special Master to find damages.