Elder, Dempster and Co Ltd v Paterson, Zochonis and Co Ltd: HL 1924

The question was asked whether, as a defence to a shipper’s action in tort for negligently stowing cargo, shipowners could rely on an exclusion clause in the bills of lading, despite the fact that the contract of carriage was between the shipper and the charterer.
Held: They could do so. The House accepted the principle of vicarious immunity, underwhich a servant or agent performing a contract is entitled to any immunity from liability which his employer or principal would have had. Although the shipowners may not have been privy to the contract of carriage (between shipper and charterer) they took possession of the goods on behalf of, and as agents for, the charterers and so could claim the same protection as their principals.


[1924] AC 522


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedMidland Silicones Ltd v Scruttons Ltd HL 6-Dec-1961
The defendant stevedores, engaged by the carrier, negligently damaged a drum containing chemicals. When the cargo-owners sued in tort, the stevedores unsuccessfully attempted to rely on a limitation clause contained in the bill of lading between the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.221975