Through the negligence of the chief engineer in putting new coal on top of old coal in a temporary bunker the steamship Galileo was rendered unseaworthy at the time the voyage commenced, catching fire and sinking. The cargo was lost. The plaintiff, cargo owner, sued the owner-operator or the ship in the federal District Court for southern New York for breach of contract to deliver at destination. On certiorari to the Circuit Court of Appeals the Supreme Court held, in affirming the decree dismissing the libel, that the defendant was relieved from liability under the federal fire statute which provides that the owner of any vessel shall be exempt from liability for loss or damage to merchandise caused by fire "unless such fire is caused by the design or neglect of such-owner." Earle & Stoddart v. Ellermar's Wilson Line, Ltd., 287 U. S. 420, 53 Sup. Ct. 200.