Onus Shipping Company4, an English Court held that the Hague Visby rules were not legally actionable, but this precedent was soon overturned with the passage of the UK Carriage of Goods by Sea Act of 1971, which specifically gives the Hague Visby rules the force of law in the U. K. Moreover, these rules will also apply in the case of private charter parties, or when special contracts are entered into for transportation of goods, as in the case of O and Cherie to transport the gin. 5 Therefore, all the rights and liabilities that exist under the Hague Visby rules will apply to both the United States and the UK who are both signatories to it.
The ship’s master and owners are therefore likely to be held liable for the losses that have occurred and damages resulting there from and both Tony and Cherie have a good chance to win this suit by filing in a UK Court. This would be the appropriate jurisdiction for filing the case since it is the destination port and both plaintiffs, Cherie and Tony are from the U. K. Application of case law to the present scenario: One of the earlier cases involving a carriage contract was that of Heskell v.
Continental Express. 6 Grunfeld has discussed the issue of causation as related to this case7, in which a purchaser placed an order with a vendor who instructed his broker to ship the goods. But the broker negligently failed to do so, despite the fact that bills of lading were issued to the purchaser and vendor by the broker. In this case, the purchaser then proceeded to sue both the broker and the vendor.
The broker and vendor were sued for issue of a false bill of lading and a breach of promise inherent in that bill of lading The Court held however that the party that would be adjudged to have broken the contract would be the one whose breach remained an effective cause of his loss, thereby examining the issue of causation in allotting responsibility for damages and failure to deliver as per contract. This principle was also invoked in the case of Vigmer International Limited and Others v Theresa Navigation SA8 where the cargo owners claimed damages against both the ship owners and the cargo loaders since the entire cargo was contaminated when it reached the port of call.
Signs of the contamination had been noticed with partial loading but the decision was made to continue loading the goods. The ship owners claimed that the decision to continue loading the cargo was that of the claimants and on this basis tried to absolve themselves of responsibility.
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