Koch Marine Inc v D’Amica Societa Di Navigazione ARL (The Elena d’Amico): QBD 1980

The ship owners wrongfully repudiated a charterparty in March 1973, 14 months after its inception. The charterers did not hire a substitute but claimed damages for the loss of profits they would have made between January and April 1974, during which period there was a substantial rise in market rates.
Held: The standard measure in an available market, was for damages to be assessed on the difference between the contract and market rates for the remaining charter period; but a plaintiff could recover damages beyond the normal measure if those damages fell within ‘the principle in Hadley v Baxendale’. In this case there was no causative link between the owners’ breach of contract and the charterers’ decision not to take advantage of the available market. The owners’ decision was independent of the wrongdoing that had taken place, and, for that reason, there was no warrant for departing from the prima facie measure. The court set out three heads of mitigation of damages, namely non-recovery for avoidable loss; recovery for loss incurred in reasonable attempts to avoid loss; and non-recovery for avoided loss.
Goff said: ‘these three aspects of mitigation are all really aspects of a wider principle which is that, subject to the rules of remoteness, the plaintiff can recover, but can only recover, in respect of damage suffered by him which has been caused by the defendant’s legal wrong. In other words, they are aspects of the principle of causation’.
Robert Goff J
[1980] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 75
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedLagden v O’Connor HL 4-Dec-2003
The parties had been involved in a road traffic accident. The defendant drove into the claimant’s parked car. The claimant was unable to afford to hire a car pending repairs being completed, and arranged to hire a car on credit. He now sought . .
CitedTransfield Shipping Inc of Panama v Mercator Shipping Inc of Monrovia ComC 1-Dec-2006
The owners made substantial losses after the charterers breached the contract by failing to redliver the ship on time as agreed.
Held: On the facts found the Owners’ primary claim is not too remote. To the knowledge of the Charterers, it was . .
CitedGolden Strait Corporation v Nippon Yusen Kubishka Kaisha (‘The Golden Victory’) HL 28-Mar-2007
The claimant sought damages for repudiation of a charterparty. The charterpary had been intended to continue until 2005. The charterer repudiated the contract and that repudiation was accepted, but before the arbitrator could set his award, the Iraq . .
CitedBunge Sa v Nidera Bv SC 1-Jul-2015
The court considered the effect of the default clause in a standard form of contract which is widely used in the grain trade. On 10 June 2010 the respondents, Nidera BV, whom I shall call ‘the buyers’, entered into a contract with the appellants, . .
CitedBPE Solicitors and Another v Hughes-Holland (In Substitution for Gabriel) SC 22-Mar-2017
The court was asked what damages are recoverable in a case where (i) but for the negligence of a professional adviser his client would not have embarked on some course of action, but (ii) part or all of the loss which he suffered by doing so arose . .
CitedFulton 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 . .
CitedGard Marine and Energy Ltd and Another v China National Chartering Company Ltd and Another SC 10-May-2017
The dispute followed the grounding of a tanker the Ocean Victory. The ship was working outside of a safe port requirement in the charterparty agreement. The contract required the purchase of insurance against maritime war and protection and . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 February 2021; Ref: scu.188658