Unsworth v Elder Dempster Lines Ltd: HL 1940

Shippers of cargo on a chartered ship brought an action against the shipowners for damage caused to the cargo by bad stowage, for which the shipowners were responsible. The cargo was shipped under charterers’ bills of lading, so that the contract of carriage contained in or evidenced by the bills of lading was between the shippers and the charterers. The shipowners sought to rely, as against the shippers, on an exception in the bill of lading which protected the charterers from liability for damage due to bad stowage.
Held: The shipowners were entitled to do so. Lord Sumner: ‘in the circumstances of this case the obligations to be inferred from the reception of the cargo for carriage to the United Kingdom amount to a bailment upon terms, which include the exceptions and limitations of liability stipulated in the known and contemplated form of bill of lading.’
Lord Sumner
[1940] 1 KB 658, [1940] 1 All ER 362
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedBradford and Bingley Plc v Rashid HL 12-Jul-2006
Disapplication of Without Prejudice Rules
The House was asked whether a letter sent during without prejudice negotiations which acknowledged a debt was admissible to restart the limitation period. An advice centre, acting for the borrower had written, in answer to a claim by the lender for . .

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Updated: 15 January 2021; Ref: scu.243137