Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Riverstone Meat v Lancashire Shipping Co. (Muncaster Castle) case brief

Riverstone Meat v Lancashire Shipping Co. (Muncaster Castle) case brief summary
House of Lords, 1960

Facts
  • 150 cases of canned ox tongue were shipped in good order on board the Muncaster Castle.
  • In the BOL it said that carrier were entitled to all privileges, rights and immunities contained in the Australian Sea-Carriage of Goods Act.
  • Water was discovered after 4 days of sailing and it had damaged 113 of the cases.
  • The cause of the seawater was because a fitter negligently failed to secure the nuts on the inspection cover evenly, so they loosened up and seawater entered.
Issue
Whether the respondents discharged the vessel seaworthy - Yes they did.
Whether the carrier is responsible for the negligence of the fitter - Yes they are responsible.

Ruling
  • The fitter was an independent contractor.
  • By entrusting the vessel to reputable ship-repairers, the carriers did not perform their duty to exercise due diligence.
  • They were vicariously liable for negligence of a servant of an independent contractor.
  • The shipper is entitled to recover from the carrier.
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