Campbell v Tyson: IHCS 1840

It was asked whether earlier cases established that the mere contracting for the safe carriage, if made by the consignor, entitled him to sue the carrier for damages, if the carrier failed to perform the duty undertaken by him under that contract. Lord Mackenzie: ‘I do not trust to these decisions as going as far as that. The Lord Chancellor does not go so far in his opinion; and even, as it seems to me, implies in his opinion the reverse of that general abstract doctrine. And there would be great difficulty in reconciling such a doctrine to the ordinary principles of the law of Scotland.’ Lord Fullerton said of the decision in Dunlop that: ‘It went no further than this, that although in the general case the consignee was the proper party to sue, there might be circumstances in the transaction which reserved in the person of the consignor such an interest in the contract of carriage as to protect his title to pursue.’ and ‘. . . the consignor, who by contract undertakes the risk of the goods, substantially contracts with the consignee for their safe delivery; and consequently the contract with the actual carrier for their carriage remains a separate contract between the consignor and the carrier, for the breach of which the consignor has the legal interest to maintain action.’ He also observed in relation to the older English cases: ‘The only question in the case of Dunlop and Co. v. Lambert, etc, and the other cases referred to, was, whether the consignor could recover. It never was doubted that the consignee could; on the contrary, in all those disputed cases it is assumed on all sides that the consignee was, in the general case, the proper party to sue.’


Lord Mackenzie, Lord Fullerton


(1840) 2 D 1215




CitedDunlop v Lambert HL 16-Jun-1839
A cargo of whisky was lost in carriage by sea between Leith and Newcastle. A second shipment was made and the loss was claimed. The House was asked whether ‘in a question between a carrier and the person to whom the carrier is responsible in the . .

Cited by:

CitedAlfred Mcalpine Construction Limited v Panatown Limited HL 17-Feb-2000
A main contractor who was building not on his own land, would only be free to claim damages from a sub-contractor for defects in the building where the actual owner of the land would not also have had a remedy. Here, the land owner was able to sue . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 13 August 2022; Ref: scu.218900