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Bushey vs. US - It was foreseeable that a drunken sailor...

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Econ 404 23:42:21 rmf34 Bushey vs. US Judge(s): Friendly, J. Court: 2 nd Circuit Court of Appeals (Location, Date): 1968 Plaintiff : IRA S. Bushey & Sons Inc. Case Summary : A drunken coast guard sailor was walking home past his dry-docked ship from a bar. He turned valves on the drydock machinery and the ship got damaged and sank. The NY district court ruled that the US government should pay for it. The ship was called the Tamaroa. It was not the governments fault in hiring him, as it’s unfair to tell seamen to not drink, it’s almost expected. Still, the responsibility should be placed on the government because they most easily bear the risk. There would be little incentive for ship-owners to demand that they have locks as they travel and move and are at different docks and dry-docks, but the employer must still bear the risk.
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Unformatted text preview: It was foreseeable that a drunken sailor might destroy property, it is true that Lane’s exact action might not have been brainstormed, but if he kicked something else in the water and destroyed it, it shouldn’t be up to the dock owners to tie everything down. Defense : United States of America says that sailors drink that all of them do. They also say that it’s easier for the dock owners to bear the risk and put locks on the drydock parts. Verdict : The risk that the seamen going and from the Tamaroa might cause damage to the drydock is enough to make it fair that the government bear the loss/risk. Law and Economics Notes : Vicarious liability – Government is liable through its employees....
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