Supreme Court (3/30/20) - 1 decision, 1 grant

One decision and one new grant for March 30, 2020.

Holding : The plain language of the safe-berth clause in the parties’ subcharter agreement—requiring the petitioners to designate a safe berth for a vessel to load and discharge cargo—establishes a warranty of safety.

Judgment : Affirmed, 7-2, in an opinion by Justice Sotomayor on March 30, 2020. Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Alito joined.

(Note: The United States was also a Respondent in this case.)

Link to a plain English analysis of the decision.

Not really going to go into this decision as it is pretty much a contract law case. This case arose out of an oil spill in the Delaware River on November 26, 2004.

The one new grant:

Issue : Whether a final judgment in favor of the United States in an action brought under Section 1346(b)(1) of the Federal Tort Claims Act, on the ground that a private person would not be liable to the claimant under state tort law for the injuries alleged, bars a claim under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics that is brought by the same claimant, based on the same injuries, and against the same governmental employees whose acts gave rise to the claimant’s FTCA claim.

This is a case of mistaken identity by law enforcement and excessive force.