The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEINER
After a trial before the Court, without a jury, in an Admiralty and Maritime claim to recover damages to a shipment of acrylic fiber on an ocean voyage from Bremen, Germany, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, upon pleadings and proof, the court makes the following:
1. Libellants, Regal Fibers, Inc. and R. J. Kunick & Co., Inc. are Pennsylvania corporations with offices and principal places of business in Haverford, Pennsylvania.
2. Respondent, Holland American Line, is a business organization organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Kingdom of Holland and does business in this jurisdiction through its agent Furness Withy & Co., Ltd., located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
3. Holland American Line was the owner and operator of the S.S. "Sloterdyk", a vessel engaged in the common carriage of merchandise for hire.
4. Respondent, Philadelphia Ceiling and Stevedoring Company is a New Jersey corporation with its principal place of business located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is engaged in the business of loading and unloading of merchant vessels as a stevedore in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
5. Libellants, as partners agreed and did purchase 240,000 pounds of acrylic fiber.
6. The sale was made by Bayer Leverkusen whose factory was located in Germany for a purchase price of $43,702.48.
7. The fiber was located in an open yard adjacent to the warehouse and plant of "Blumenthal's" located in the northern region of Germany.
8. Approximately one month prior to the sale the bales of fiber had been inundated by flood waters.
9. That as a result of being exposed to the flood the bags in which the fiber was packed became wet and the fiber was damp.
10. The material was sold "as is" - "no claims to be accepted", and the invoice bore the legend "Acrylic * * * waste of flood damaged staple fiber, tow, combed and torbo tops".
11. As the fiber was either loose when purchased or the original containers were wet, it became necessary to repack the containers.
12. Libellants retained the services of Uhlmann and Company of Bremen, Germany, for the dual purpose of recoopering the packages containing the fiber and to arrange the shipping to Philadelphia.
13. During the recoopering process an unknown number of bags of fiber were exposed to a heavy down pour of rain that lasted for either two or three days.
14. After recoopering the bags were put into a lorry and then into a railroad car and delivered to the Port of Bremhaven where they were loaded by ...