JOHNSTON BROS. v. HARROW AND OTHERS.
(1945) 79 Ll.L.Rep. 278
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Before Lord Thankerton, Lord Macmillan, Lord Wright, Lord Simonds and Lord Uthwatt.
Repairs to ship-Negligence-Undocking from dry dock-Purchase by plaintiffs of wreck of steam trawler Tarbetness-Salved and taken to Gourdon-Towed to dry dock at Peterhead for repairs - Repairs undertaken partly by first defenders (repairs to hull) and partly by second defenders (engine and woodwork repairs, etc.)- Docking and undocking to be carried out by shipwrights employed by second defenders -Instructions given by naval authorities that ship must be undocked as soon as possible-Undocking postponed until bottom repairs completed by first defenders - Harbour-master informed by first defenders that repairs were completed and that ship was ready to undock - Date fixed for undocking - Second defenders instructed to be present to assist-Dock flooded - Removal of shores by second defenders' shipwrights as ship became waterborne-Capsizing of ship before she became fully waterborne-Claim by pursuers for damages - Cause of accident - Respective duties of first and second defenders-Responsibility for undocking- Alleged duty upon pursuers to satisfy themselves upon stability - Contributory negligence-Decision of Sheriff-Substitute that capsizing was solely due to negligence of employees of second defenders in their work of undocking - Appeal by second defenders.