Globalia Business Travel Sau of Spain v Fulton Shipping Inc of Panama: SC 28 Jun 2017

The court was asked how to assess damages arising out of the repudiation of a charterparty by charterers of a cruise ship, the ‘New Flameno’. The charter ending two years early, the owners chose to sell, and in the result got a much better price than would have been obtained had the charter continued for two years.
Held: The appeal was allowed, and the decision of the judge at first instance. Viewed as a question of principle, most damages issues arise from the default rules which the law devises to give effect to the principle of compensation, while recognising that there may be special facts which show that the default rules will not have that effect in particular cases. On the facts here the fall in value of the vessel was in my opinion irrelevant because the owners’ interest in the capital value of the vessel had nothing to do with the interest injured by the charterers’ repudiation of the charterparty.
‘ . . difference in kind is too vague and potentially too arbitrary a test. The essential question is whether there is a sufficiently close link between the two and not whether they are similar in nature. The relevant link is causation. The benefit to be brought into account must have been caused either by the breach of the charterparty or by a successful act of mitigation.’
‘That difference or loss was, in my opinion, not on the face of it caused by the repudiation of the charterparty. The repudiation resulted in a prospective loss of income for a period of about two years. Yet, there was nothing about the premature termination of the charterparty which made it necessary to sell the vessel, either at all or at any particular time. Indeed, it could have been sold during the term of the charterparty. If the owners decide to sell the vessel, whether before or after termination of the charterparty, they are making a commercial decision at their own risk about the disposal of an interest in the vessel which was no part of the subject matter of the charterparty and had nothing to do with the charterers.’
Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption, Lord Hodge
[2017] UKSC 43, [2018] 1 All ER (Comm) 95, [2018] 1 All ER 45, [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 177, [2017] 2 CLC 58, [2017] WLR(D) 440, 173 Con LR 20, [2017] 1 WLR 2581, UKSC 2016/0026
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, WLRD
England and Wales
At first InstanceFulton Shipping Inc of Panama v Globalia Business Travel SAU (Formerly Travelplan SAU) of Spain ComC 21-May-2014
The former owners of the ‘New Flameno’ appealed from an arbitration award. A charter of the vessel had been repudiated with two years left to run. The owners chose to sell. They made a substantial profit over the price they would have received after . .
Appeal fromFulton Shipping Inc of Panama v Globalia Business Travel Sau CA 21-Dec-2015
The charter of the ship ‘New Flameno’ was repudiated two years early. The owners sold it, making rather more profit than they would have if sold after the end of the term. The court was now asked how the profit should affect the loss claim on the . .
CitedBradburn v Great Western Rail Co CEC 1874
The plaintiff had received a sum of money from a private insurer to compensate him for lost income as a result of an accident caused by the negligence of the defendant.
Held: He was entitled to full damages as well as the payment from the . .
CitedBritish Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co v Underground Electric Railways Co (London) Limited HL 1912
The plaintiffs purchased eight steam turbines from the defendants. They later proved defective, and the plaintiffs sought damages. In the meantime they purchased replacements, more effective than the original specifications. In the result the . .
CitedShearman v Folland CA 1950
The injured plaintiff had lived before the accident in hotels to which she paid seven guineas a week for board and lodging. After the accident she spent just over a year in nursing homes at a cost of twelve guineas a week exclusive of medical . .
CitedParry v Cleaver HL 5-Feb-1969
PI Damages not Reduced for Own Pension
The plaintiff policeman was disabled by the negligence of the defendant and received a disablement pension. Part had been contributed by himself and part by his employer.
Held: The plaintiff’s appeal succeeded. Damages for personal injury were . .
CitedP Samuel and Co v Dumas HL 1924
Viscount Cave said: ”… My Lords, there is force in this argument, but I am not prepared to say that in the present case it should prevail. It may well be that, when two persons are jointly insured and their interests are inseparably connected so . .
CitedBellingham v Dhillon QBD 1973
The plaintiff claimed damages for personal injuries, and in particular the loss of profits from his driving school business. He lost the opportunity to lease a driving simulator which would have enabled his company to earn a continuing profit. In . .
CitedThe Yasin 1979
Receivers claimed against shipowners under a bill of lading for loss of a cargo. The shipowners argued on a preliminary issue that the insurance proceeds paid to receivers fell to be taken into account so as to wipe out the damages claimed. They . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 February 2021; Ref: scu.588313