552. Monroe Brothers Ltd v Ryan (the “Wythburn”) [1935] KB 28 (CA)

“Shall with all convenience proceed” to load port creates an obligation which gives rise to a claim for damages

The Facts

By a voyage charter party on the “Merseycon” form, owners, on 2 August 1933, agreed as follows:

“That the said steamer being tight, staunch, strong, and every way fitted for the voyage, shall with all convenience proceed to Hamburg … and there load from the said charterers a full and complete cargo of 330 tons of sugar and 140 tons of salt … and being so laden shall proceed with all convenience and speed to merchants quay, Kilrush, and Bally Longford, or so near there to as she may safely get…

Charterers or owners not to incur liability for loss arising from frosts, floods, strikes, lock-outs of seamen, work people or other persons necessary for the performance of this charter party, disputes between masters and men, and other unavoidable accidents or hindrances of what kind so ever, beyond charterers’ or owners’ control.”

On 31 August 1933, the owners entered into a second charterparty pursuant to which the vessel was sent to Porthoustock to a load a cargo of stone for carriage to Felixstowe.

Bad weather at Porthoustock delayed loading which caused the vessel to arrive in Hamburg on 14 September 1933.

Because of the delay, charterers incurred demurrage for loading barges and lighterage.

Owners attempted to rely on the “unavoidable accidents or hindrance” exception.

Findings

Atkinson J held against the owners and awarded damages.

He was upheld by Greer, Maugham and Roche LJJ.

 

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