Cooper Stevedoring Company, Inc. v. Fritz Kopke, Inc.

PETITIONER: Cooper Stevedoring Company, Inc.
RESPONDENT: Fritz Kopke, Inc.
LOCATION: Central Intelligence Agency Headquarters

DOCKET NO.: 73-726
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 417 US 106 (1974)
ARGUED: Apr 15, 1974 / Apr 16, 1974
DECIDED: May 28, 1974

ADVOCATES:
Bruce Dixie Smith -
Dixie Smith - for respondents
Joseph D. Cheavens - for petitioner

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Cooper Stevedoring Company, Inc. v. Fritz Kopke, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 16, 1974 in Cooper Stevedoring Company, Inc. v. Fritz Kopke, Inc.
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 15, 1974 in Cooper Stevedoring Company, Inc. v. Fritz Kopke, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 28, 1974 in Cooper Stevedoring Company, Inc. v. Fritz Kopke, Inc.

Thurgood Marshall:

73-726, Cooper Stevedoring Co. versus Kopke is here on writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

A longshoreman was injured when, while loading a vessel owned by the respondent, he stepped into concealed gap between crates which had previously been loaded by petitioner.

The Longshoreman sued the respondent, the shipowner who filed a third-party complaint against the petitioner, the Stevedoring Co.

The District Court found both the respondent and the petitioner negligent and divided the liability equally.

The Court of Appeals affirmed.

We granted certiorari to consider petitioner's contention that the award of contribution between joint tortfeasors in this noncollision maritime case was inconsistent with earlier decision to this Court.

For the reasons set forth in the opinion filed over the clerk today, we hold that on the facts in this case, it was proper for the courts below to have applied to well-established maritime rule allowing contribution between joint tortfeasors.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals therefore is accordingly affirmed.

Mr. Justice Stewart took no part in the decision of this case.