Admiralty- Shipowner’s Right to Indemnification for Loss Caused by Latently Defective Gear Supplied by Nonnegligent Stevedoring-Compnay
Defendant stevedoring company contracted to perform stevedoring services for plaintiff shipowner. Pursuant to its agreement to supply gear for the job, the stevedoring company supplied a latently defective rope, the breaking of which caused injury to a longshoreman, an employee of the stevedoring company. The longshoreman obtained a judgment against the shipowner under the doctrine of unseaworthiness, and in a separate action the shipowner sought indemnification from the stevedoring company. The district court, finding the stevedoring company not negligent, denied recovery. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed, one judge dissenting. On certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, held, reversed and remanded, three Justices dissenting. A stevedoring Company, even though not negligent, breaches its implied warranty of workmanlike service when it supplies latently defective gear. Italia Societa per Azioni di Navigazione v. Oregon Stevedoring Co., 84 Sup. Ct. 748 (1964).