Datec Electronics Holdings Ltd and others v United Parcels Services Ltd: HL 16 May 2007

The defendants had taken on the delivery of a quantity of the claimant’s computers. The equipment reached one depot, but then was lost or stolen. The parties disputed whether the Convention rules applied. UPS said that the claimant had agreed that the value of any one item did not exceed the stated limit. The claimants said that the alleged misconduct of the defendant’s staff meant that UPS could not rely on the limitation of liability provided by the Convention, and that with both restrictions not applying, UPS’s liability was unlimited.
Held: The contract should be read to reflect the commercial reality under which there remained an effective contract despite the excess value. Had the misconduct been proved? The judge had not reflected the proper effect of the expert evidence, and ‘theft involving a UPS employee was shown on a strong balance of probability to have been the cause of this loss. ‘ UPS’ appeal was therefore dismissed.

Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Mance, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
Times 18-May-2007, [2007] UKHL 23, [2007] 1 WLR 1325, [2007] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 114, [2007] Bus LR 1291
Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road 81, Carriage of Goods by Road Act 1965
England and Wales
CitedManning v Stylianou CA 26-Oct-2006
Where an appeal is against a judge’s evaluation of the facts, the Court of Appeal should consider the evaluation in the same way it would approach an appeal against the exercise of discretion. . .
CitedQuantum Corporation Inc and Others v Plane Trucking Ltd and Another CA 27-Mar-2002
A valuable cargo was stolen whilst being transported. Part of the journey was by road, and part by air. The carriers sought to limit their liability, because of the provisions of the Act and Convention. It was argued that that did not apply, because . .
ApprovedAssicurazioni Generali Spa v Arab Insurance Group (BSC) CA 13-Nov-2002
Rehearing/Review – Little Difference on Appeal
The appellant asked the Court to reverse a decision on the facts reached in the lower court.
Held: The appeal failed (Majority decision). The court’s approach should be the same whether the case was dealt with as a rehearing or as a review. . .
At First InstanceDatec Electronic Holdings Ltd and Another v United Parcels Service Ltd and Another ComC 22-Feb-2005
The claimant sought damages for the loss of goods in transit under the care of the defendant. Andrew Smith J held as regards the burden of proof in an allegation of wilful misconduct: ‘I should add that I was properly reminded by counsel that the . .
Appeal fromDatec Electronic Holdings Ltd and Another v United Parcels Service Ltd CA 29-Nov-2005
The parties put forward alternative explanations for the loss of a mail packet. Richards LJ said: ‘Nor do I see any inconsistency between my approach and the observations of Lord Brandon in The Popi M. The conclusion that employee theft was the . .

Cited by:
CitedLondon Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm and Disability Rights Commission CA 25-Jul-2007
The court was asked, whether asked to grant possession against a disabled tenant where the grounds for possession were mandatory. The defendant was a secure tenant with a history of psychiatric disability. He had set out to buy his flat, but the . .
CitedIde v ATB Sales Ltd and Another CA 28-Apr-2008
Each appellant challenged how the judge had decided between alternative proofs of causation of the respective loss. In Ide, the claimant asserted a fault in a cycle handlebar, and in Lexus, the claimant asserted that it caught fire whilst . .
CitedBarlow Clowes International Ltd and Others v Henwood CA 23-May-2008
The receiver appealed against an order finding that the debtor petitioner was not domiciled here when the order was made. The debtor had a domicile of origin in England, but later acquired on in the Isle of Man. He then acquired a home in Mauritius . .
CitedFosse Motor Engineers Ltd and others v Conde Nast and National Magazine Distributors Ltd and Another TCC 20-Aug-2008
The claimant said that the defendant’s employees had negligently started a fire which burned down the claimant’s warehouse. There was limited evidence to establish the cause.
Held: The claim failed. The scientific evidence did not point to any . .
CitedSony Computer Entertainment UK Ltd v Cinram Logistics UK Ltd CA 8-Aug-2008
Various items were deemed to have been lost whilst being transported by the defendants. The claimants sought damages based on the price for which they would have been sold. The defendants appealed a judgment on that basis.
Held: The carrier’s . .
CitedAlford v Cambridgeshire Police CA 24-Feb-2009
The claimant police officer had been held after an accident when he was in a high speed pursuit of a vehicle into the neighbouring respondent’s area. The prosecution had been discontinued, and he now appealed against rejection of his claims for . .
CitedWhitehouse v Lee CA 14-May-2009
The tenant appealed against an order requiring her to give up possession of her flat, held under the 1977 Act, saying that the court should not have found it reasonable to make an order after finding alternative accommodation suitable.
Held: . .
CitedCooper and Others v Fanmailuk.Com Ltd and Another CA 17-Dec-2009
F claimed to be the beneficial owner of shares registered in the names of the claimants. The appellants challenged a finding that the shares were held on trust for F, and the implication that the first appellant had presented a dishonest claim.
CitedNulty and Others v Milton Keynes Borough Council CA 24-Jan-2013
There had been two fires at a depot owned by the claimants. The fires were found to have been likely to have been caused by the deceased employee. His insurers had repudiated liability saying that the had not been notified oin a timely fashion.
CitedFortune and Others v Wiltshire Council and Another CA 20-Mar-2012
The court considered the contnuation of public rights of way against the new system of the ending of certain unrecorded rights.
Held: he appeal failed. ‘As a matter of plain language, section 67(2)(b) does not, in our judgment, require the . .
CitedFortune and Others v Wiltshire Council and Another CA 20-Mar-2012
The court considered the contnuation of public rights of way against the new system of the ending of certain unrecorded rights.
Held: he appeal failed. ‘As a matter of plain language, section 67(2)(b) does not, in our judgment, require the . .
CitedMichalak v General Medical Council and Others SC 1-Nov-2017
Dr M had successfully challenged her dismissal and recovered damages for unfair dismissal and race discrimination. In the interim, Her employer HA had reported the dismissal to the respondent who continued their proceedings despite the decision in . .
MentionedShagang Shipping Company Ltd v HNA Group Company Ltd SC 5-Aug-2020
Allegations had been made that a contract had been procured by bribery. The other party said that the admissions of bribery had been extracted by torture and were inadmissible. The CA had decided that the unproven possibility that it was obtained by . .
CitedActavis Group Ptc EHF and Others v Icos Corporation and Another SC 27-Mar-2019
The court considered: ‘the application of the test of obviousness under section 3 of the Patents Act 1977 to a dosage patent. In summary, a patent, whose validity is not challenged, identified a compound as an efficacious treatment but did not . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Transport, Contract, Damages

Leading Case

Updated: 23 January 2022; Ref: scu.252416