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BENTLEY v. ALBATROSS S.S. CO.

March 31, 1952

BENTLEY
v.
ALBATROSS S.S. CO., INC., ET AL. THE CHRISTIAN BERGH.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bard, District Judge.

This is a seaman's action in admiralty for damages for personal injuries and for maintenance and cure. On the basis of the pleadings and the testimony, I make the following special

Findings of Fact.

1. Libellant is Clifford C. Bentley, an American merchant seaman.

2. Respondents are Albatross Steamship Company, Inc., a New York corporation which operated and controlled the S.S. Christian Bergh, and the S.S. Christian Bergh, a Liberty ship which at the time this suit was instituted was within the jurisdiction of this Court.

3. Libellant is an able bodied seaman who was employed aboard The Christian Bergh.

4. About 5 or 6 P.M. on November 25, 1948, while this vessel was in the port of Pireaus, Greece, libellant went ashore and drank heavily of beer and fairly strong cognac.

5. As a result of his drinking, libellant became drunk or intoxicated.

6. Between 8 and 9 P.M. that evening, libellant started back to the vessel. He waited on the dock for over half an hour for transportation to the vessel, during which time he became wet and chilled from sleet and rain.

7. Upon his return to the vessel, libellant went into the recreation room and sat down in a swivel chair about twelve inches from a steam radiator.

8. This radiator was of standard design found in Liberty ships of this type, and was located in the customary place. When the steam is turned on at normal pressure, the temperature in this radiator would be approximately 230° Fahrenheit. There was no evidence to show whether this radiator was turned on or off.

9. No covers or guards are placed about this or any other radiator aboard this vessel, although on some Liberty ships metal covers or guards do surround the radiators.

10. The temperature of the recreation room was normal or the same as always.

11. Fifteen or twenty minutes after he sat down, and because of his intoxicated condition, libellant "passed out" or became unconscious, slumped onto the ...


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