Where damages resulted from the same physical forces whose existence required the exercise of greater care than was displayed and were of the same general sort that was expectable, unforeseeability of the exact developments and of the extent of the loss will not limit liability.
Appellant ship owner was found liable after its ship collided with appellee's ship during inclement weather conditions. After appellee's ship was struck, it careened out of control and struck a drawbridge. Although appellant city of Buffalo was notified in time to raise the bridge, it failed to act promptly. The lower court held that appellants were jointly and severally liable but held that appellant city was solely liable for damages sustained by the other tortfeasors. On appeal, appellants contended that some limits of liability should be afforded. The court affirmed the lower court's ruling.
Was appellant city solely liable for damages?
Appellants were liable but the court ruled that appellant city's failure to raise the bridge before appellee's ship crashed into it did not mandate that appellant city was solely liable. The court ordered that the damages be divided among appellants. Where all appellants were liable for the damages to appellee's ship in admiralty action, the court ruled that the liability must be divided between the appellants, not solely on appellant city.