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N. WAGMAN & CO. v. UNITED STATES LINES CO.

March 31, 1952

N. WAGMAN & CO., Inc.
v.
UNITED STATES LINES CO. et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARD

This is a civil action for cargo damage to a shipment of bristles. On the basis of the pleadings and the testimony, I make the following special

Findings of Fact.

 1. Plaintiff is N. Wagman & Company, Incorporation, a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal office and place of business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 2. Defendant United States Lines Company, a New Jersey corporation doing business in Philadelphia, owned and operated the S. S. Pioneer Sea.

 3. Defendant Philadelphia Piers, Inc., a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Philadelphia, leased and operated Pier 98 South Wharves, Philadelphia.

 4. Plaintiff owned fifty cases of various length Hankow black bristles which were shipped from Shanghai, China, on or about June 23, 1948, aboard the 'Pioneer Sea'.

 5. On or about August 18, 1948, these cases of bristles were discharged in Philadelphia onto Pier 98 by stevedores engaged by defendant United States Lines Company.

 6. On August 20, 1948, plaintiff's trucker arrived at the pier to remove forty-two cases to plaintiff's warehouse. The remaining eight cases were re-shipped to Belgium. Nineteen of these forty-two cases were found to be wet, and were receipted for as such; four of these nineteen cases were later found to contain undamaged bristles.

 7. On August 24, 1948, a cargo surveyor preliminarily examined the cases at plaintiff's warehouse. At this time he also discovered that some cases had mud and water stains on them from an old wetting. He made the following classification: recent wetting- 10 cases; mud stained- 13 cases; both wettings- 2 cases; wet and mud stained- 1 case; doubtful and old wetting- 4 cases; undamaged- 10 cases. One case was in the custody of customs appraisers, and another case was apparently overlooked by the surveyor when he testified.

 8. The bristles were packed in solid appearing, well made wooden cases, each end of which was bound by metal bands. The cases were not new but were being re-used. The metal bands were rusted.

 9. After opening all the cases, plaintiff found that the bristles in some cases were wet, in other cases were moldy,and in the remaining cases were undamaged. Thereafter, the surveyor made the following classification of damaged bristles: 10% damage (recent wetting)- 10 cases; 35% damage (old wetting)- 9 cases.

 10. A comparison of the two classifications by individual case numbers reveals: Seven of the ten cases originally classified as recent wetting suffered 10% damage; one case suffered 35% damage; one case was listed as suffering 10% and 35% damage; and one case was not damaged. Four of the thirteen cases originally classified as mud stained suffered 35% damage; nine cases were not damaged. The two cases originally classified as both wettings suffered 35% damage. The one case originally classified as wet and mud stained suffered 10% damage. The four cases originally classified as doubtful and old wetting were not damaged. The one case held by customs appraisers suffered 35% damage. The one overlooked case suffered 10% damage.

 11. The recent and old wettings were both fresh water wettings.

 12. The mud stains on the cases had no connection with the internal damage to the bristles.

 13. The 35% internal damage to the bristles frequently corresponded with the old water stains on the cases, but not all water stained ...


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