Divided Damages Rule Replaced by Comparative Fault Rule



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Texas Tech Law Review


Examines the United States Supreme Court case United States v. Reliable Transfer Co. In Reliable Transfer, the captain of the Whalen ran aground at Rockaway Inlet. This was partially due to the Coast Guard’s failure to maintain a flashing light that usually marked the southernmost point of the inlet, and partially due to the captain’s failure to consult his resources. The court found the Coast Guard to be 25% at fault and the Whalen to be 75% at fault, yet the court held that each would be liable for half of the damages. The Court reversed, holding that when comparative fault is allocated among the parties, the damages are also to be allocated proportionally.



Admiralty, Maritime law, Comparative fault, Damages, United States v. Reliable Transfer Co., Case note


7 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 113