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Torts Keyed to Franklin
Overseas Tankship (U.K.) Ltd. v. Mort’s Dock & Engineering Co., LTd. (The Wagon Mound)
Citation:Privy Council, 1961.  A.C. 388.
ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
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- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Defendant, the ship Wagon Mound was at a wharf and took on a large amount of bunker oil. In that process, they spilled quite a bit that concentered on the Plaintiff’s (Overseas Tankship) property. The Defendants set sail, making no efforts to disperse the oil. Plaintiff’s manager became aware of the oil and stopped all welding and burning until he assessed the danger. After the assessment, he determined that the furnace oil in open water was okay, so work continues for two days. Then oil under or near the wharf ignited, and fire spread, causing extensive damage to the wharf and the plaintiff’s equipment. The trial determined the fire was caused by a piece of debris floating in the oil-coated water that caught fire from molten metal. At trial, evidence was demonstrated that the defendant could not have reasonably known that the oil could be set afire while on the water. Plaintiff sued Defendant for negligence and won in the trial court.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.