Ford v. Trident Fisheries Co. – Case Brief
Ford v. Trident Fisheries Co., 232 Mass. 400, 122 N. E. 389 (1919).
Facts: Ford (decedent, husband of P) was employed as a mate on Trident Fisheries’ (D) steam trawler. Ford was standing watch during a fishing expedition when the vessel rolled, throwing Ford overboard. Ford was never seen again.
P sued, alleging that the boat that was used to search for Ford should have been suspended from davits rather than lashed to the deck and that it should have been equipped with two oars rather than one. P appealed the court’s entry of judgment in favor of D.
Issue: In order to recover at tort, must there be a nexus between the negligent acts of a party and the harm suffered?
Holding and Rule: Yes. In order to recover at tort, there must be a nexus between the negligent acts of a party and the harm suffered.
The court held that in this case even if D was negligent it did not appear that intestate would have been rescued if the boat had been suspended from davits and had been equipped with two oars.
Notes: In order to recover damages, the negligent acts must be the proximate cause, also referred to as legal cause, of the harm.