Boson v Sandford and Others: 1629

A shipper of goods sued the ship owner for damage caused by the negligence of the master. Eyre J held that there was no difference between a land carrier and a water carrier, and therefore the owners were under a special liability as carriers for the acts of their servants; but Holt CJ rested his judgment on the broad principle that ‘whoever employs another is answerable for him, and undertakes for his care to all that make use of him’.
Both master and part owners of a ship are liable; but part-owners must be joined. Trespass on the case on a special verdict, the case was, A. loaded goods in good plight on board a ship, which commonly carried goods in safety from Topsham to London, and from London to Topsham, for reasonable freight (the danger of the seas only excepted) ; and ’tis found that these goods were damnify’d otherwise than by the sea ; that the goods were delivered to the master of the ship, that the plaintiff did not know the part-owners ; that the owners had the money agreed for the freight;
and farther, that there were more owners than the now
Upon this case three points do arise.
1. Whether the action lay against the owners or against the master.
2. Whether the action be well brought against some of the part-owners only.
3. Admitting it is not, whether it be good nom, it being waved, arid not pleaded in abatement’?


Eyre J, Holt CJ


(1691) 2 Salk 440




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMohamud v WM Morrison Supermarkets plc SC 2-Mar-2016
The claimant had been assaulted and racially abused as he left a kiosk at the respondent’s petrol station by a member of staff. A manager had tried to dissuade the assailant, and the claim for damages against the supermarket had failed at first . .
See AlsoBoson v Sandford and others 1724
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Vicarious Liability, Transport

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.606512