A printed form of bill of lading contained general words of obligation referring to the goods being shipped ‘in and upon the .. Zena, now lying in the port of Malaga, and bound for Liverpool’. Those words were followed by printed words intended ‘to be used in a variety of contracts of affreightment’. Construed literally the words would allow deviation to any port even if far off the voyage from Malaga to Liverpool.
Held: Words which the parties have themselves chosen and written into the contract should have greater effect than printed standard terms.
Lord Herschell LC: ‘Where general words are used in a printed form which are obviously intended to apply, so far as they are applicable, to the circumstances of a particular contract, which particular contract is to be embodied in or introduced into a that printed form, I think you are justified in looking at the main object and intent of the contract and in limiting the general words used, having in view that object and intent.’ A business sense will be given to business documents.
Lord Halsbury, Lord Herschell LC
 AC 351
England and Wales
Cited – Homburg Houtimport BV v Agrosin Private Ltd (the ‘Starsin’) HL 13-Mar-2003
Cargo owners sought damages for their cargo which had been damaged aboard the ship. The contract had been endorsed with additional terms. That variation may have changed the contract from a charterer’s to a shipowner’s bill.
Held: The specific . .
Cited – George Mitchell (Chesterhall) Ltd v Finney Lock Seeds Ltd CA 29-Sep-1982
The buyer bought 30lbs of cabbage seed, but the seed was not correct, and the crop was worthless. The seed cost andpound;192, but the farmer lost andpound;61,000. The seed supplier appealed the award of the larger amount and interest, saying that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 August 2021; Ref: scu.180644