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In United States v. Reliable Transfer Co., the Supreme Court of the United States was presented with the issue of the continued validity of the rule of equally divided damages in admiralty. The Court rejected the rule and adopted a proportional fault rule for property damage in maritime collision or stranding cases.3 It was held that when two or more parties have contributed by their fault to cause a maritime collision or stranding, liability for damage resulting therefrom shall be allocated proportionately to the comparative degree of fault of each party, except in cases where it is not possible to fairly measure the comparative degrees of fault or where each party was equally at fault, wherein liability is to be allocated equally.

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