defective and was not negligent in choosing it.
The decision of the Supreme Court in Mahnich v. Southern S.S. Co., 321 U.S. 96, 64 S. Ct. 455, 88 L. Ed. 561, rules this case. In the opinion in that case the Court said in 321 U.S.at page 103, 64 S. Ct.at page 459, 88 L. Ed. 561, 'The staging from which petitioner fell was an appliance appurtenant to the ship. It was unseaworthy in the sense that it was inadequate for the purpose for which it was ordinarily used, because of the defective rope with which it was rigged. Its inadequacy rendered it unseaworthy * * * . Had it been adequate, petitioner would not have been injured and his injury was the proximate and immediate consequence of the unseaworthiness.'
The fact in this case that it was the libellant himself and not a ship's officer who selected the rope used is of no importance. The whole point of the Mahnich case is that the fact that a human agency contributes to the furnishing of a defective appliance on shipboard does not affect the shipowner's liability for injury caused thereby. That liability arises solely from the unseaworthiness of the appliance. If the negligence of a ship's officer does not bar the plaintiff's right to recover, neither does his own unwitting, or even negligent, act, though in the latter case, the damages might have to be reduced proportionally. Of course, if this libellant had deliberately selected a rope which he knew to be defective when he knew he could have used a sound one, the question of proximate cause might arise, but that is an entirely different question and does not have to be met here.
The statements of fact in the foregoing opinion may be taken as special findings. I also find as a fact that the scaffold on which the libellant was working when he was injured was an unseaworthy appliance.
My conclusions of law are:
(1) That the fact that the libellant himself selected the rope and rigged the scaffold is immaterial.
(2) That the libellant is entitled to recover damages.
I award the libellant maintenance and cure for the period of his disability which terminated January 17, 1946. I find that the libellant has suffered damages in the sum of $ 1,000 and, in addition to maintenance and cure, I award that sum.
Judgment may be entered in accordance with the foregoing.
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