Mathes v. The Clipper Fleet

[B]Date Decided[/B]: Oct 22nd, 1985
[B]Decided By[/B]: U.S. Court Of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (federal)
[B]Court[/B]: U.S.D.C. S.D. of California
[B]Citation[/B]: Mathes v. The Clipper Fleet, 774 F.2d 980 (9th Cir. 1985)
Jack Mathes is a seamanemployed by Western Boat Operators (“Western”). On October 20, 1982, the [I]Low Tide[/I],the vessel Mathes was a mate on, was moored to an off-shore oil platform whenit called the [I]Clipper Larry[/I], a vesselowned by Clipper Fleet, to receive several packages from the [I]Low Tide.[/I] Mathes was the mate in charge of theoperation. Due to an ocean swell duringthe loading operations, his foot became pinned between vessels.

Mathes sued ClipperFeet asserting a general maritime law claim of negligence. Mathes alleges that the [I]Clipper Larry[/I] failed to use proper loading operations, that thevessel was negligently controlled, improperly manned and without a licensedskipper. The Clipper Fleet denied Mathesallegations and argued that it was Mathes’ own negligence that was the solecause of his injury. At trial, the juryfound in favor of both defendants. Mathes’filed an appeal arguing that the district court committed reversible error inrefusing to instruct the jury on the Pennsylvania Rule. Read More…