548. Albacora SRL v Westcott & Laurance Line Ltd (the “Maltasian”) [1966] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 53

Hague rules – parties agree to ship fish on an unrefrigerated vessel – ship-owner not liable.

The Facts

Fresh salted fish was shipped from Glasgow to Genoa.

On outturn, the fish was found to be damaged simply because it was too hot at the time of the year chosen. Neither the shipper nor the vessel realized this.

Cargo sought to hold the vessel liable under Article III r2: “The carrier shall properly and carefully load, handle, stow, carry, keep, care for and discharge the goods carried”.

Findings

A unanimous House of Lords found no breach of duty on the part of the vessel.

Further, because the parties had agreed to use an unrefrigerated vessel, the cargo was damaged by inherent vice within the meaning of Article IV r2(m).

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