Morales v. City of Galveston

RESPONDENT: City of Galveston
LOCATION: Herricks School District

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1962)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

CITATION: 370 US 165 (1962)
ARGUED: Apr 23, 1962 / Apr 24, 1962
DECIDED: Jun 11, 1962

Facts of the case


Media for Morales v. City of Galveston

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 23, 1962 in Morales v. City of Galveston

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 24, 1962 in Morales v. City of Galveston

Earl Warren:

Number 480, Robert Morales et al., Appellant, versus City of Galveston et al.

Mr. Shirley.

Preston Shirley:

Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court.

This will be a divided argument.

I represent the City of Galveston, take a short time and then the remainder of the time will be so taken by --

Earl Warren:


Preston Shirley:

-- Cardigan Shipping Company.

If the Court please, this started as a suit in admiralty, a vessel longshoreman in which the original allegations for against the City of Galveston for negligence in fumigating certain grain and went aboard a vessel.

There is a subsidiary allegation that the City had failed to inspect or test the grain.

The case against the City of Galveston was strictly consoled on the allegations of negligence, nothing else.

As against the respondent, Cardigan Shipping Company, the case was presented there against that company for negligence in hand to inspect the test and on an allegation of unseaworthiness by way of a brief description of the operation to the elevator, this primary at an export house to Water Sack.

The grain, when it comes in mostly by railcars, is tested and sampled for the Galveston Exchange Board of Trade Inspectors and Supervisor of the Department of Agriculture.

That inspection was made while the car is still in the yard, five samples were taken.

If there's anything shows up bad then, it will be noted.

Then the car is taken to the elevator; unload it, again by opening the doors and by a person near the elevator.

It then goes in by gravity down into a container, has taken by elevating legs about 1000 buckets running this way sir, up to the escape holes, where it's weighed then it goes by shoot, down to its conveyor belts and goes by conveyor belts to the various -- one of the 400 semi bins in the elevator.

While in the elevator, stays generally speaking in the same vent.

After that, and when it's desired to export, the owner will order so many bushels over a certain grade of grain.

It is a mixed house in the sense that there's no one's grain owned by -- it can be identified as such.

You can identify by grade owners.

After the order is placed, a lineup was made out of which the grain will be taken, that is to particular bins and then there's not just at the bottom of each bin, you take the conveyor belt that open up it so many notches, having to use the various grades to get the desired grade to go into the ship and then runs on this conveyor belt to an elevating leg again and goes back up to the scales, again on the -- and then again on the conveyer belt and to a shipping bin roughly housed to the ship.

Stevedore or the chief stevedore, well then order the grain to be released by telephone and the City employees do it.

The City has no relation to, no control over or no connection with the ship.

Therefore, there's no relation to, no control over or any connection with any question of unseaworthiness.

Earl Warren:

Mr. Shirley, where is the -- where is the first inspection made for -- knock this gases odorous?

Preston Shirley:

Mr. Chief Justice, it's made while they're in the eleva -- while in the railroad cars adjoining the elevator.

Earl Warren:

They -- they made it --

Preston Shirley:

Yes sir.

Earl Warren:

-- for that purpose right?

Preston Shirley:

Yes sir.