As part of a project to extend the Massachusetts Turnpike, Dutra Construction Co. used the Super Scoop to dredge the trench. At the time it was the world's largest dredge, digging a 50-foot-deep, 100-foot-wide, three-quarter-mile trench that is now the Ted Williams Tunnel.
A marine engineer was seriously injured when the Super Scoop and one of its scows collided. The injured man sued under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, which authorizes a third party to sue a "vessel" owner.
The lower courts ruled for Dutra.
In a partial victory for the injured man, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Super Scoop is a vessel, even though it has very limited means of propulsion.