Friday, October 10, 2014

Polemis case brief summary

Polemis case brief summary

F: Respondent (vessel owner) chartered their vessel to the appellants. The vessel was employed by the cartereres to carry a cargo that contained a toxicants. While discharging, it caused an explosion that completely destroyed the vessel.
Ruled in favor of Respondents
Direct but unforeseeable cause of an injury

I: Whether the damages are the proximate cause of the negligence of the charterers and servant?

R: Where it is reasonably foreseeable that D's neg. conduct would cause damages to P, D is liable even though the exact extent of the damages is not foreseeable
The fire was not a reasonably foreseeable consequence of allowing the plank to fall. However, it was reasonably foreseeable that the falling plank would cause some form of damage to the vessel.
This court focuses on directness, don’t care about foreseeability (extent of damage or type of damage – irrelevant)

A: The fire appears to me to have been directly caused by the falling of the plank. Under these circumstances I consider that it is immaterial that the causing of the spark by the falling of the plank could not have been reasonably anticipated. Given the breach of duty which constitutes the negligence, and given the damage as a direct result of that negligence, the anticipations of the person whose negligent act has produced the damage appear to me to be irrelevant. I consider that the damages claimed are not too remote. So long as the damage is in fact directly traceable to the negligent act, and not due to the operation of independent causes having no connection with the negligent act, except that they could not avoid its results. Once the act is negligent, the fact that its exact operation was not foreseen is immaterial.

C: affirmed

Co: Directness + foreseeability (may be indirect, but can be foreseeable; indirect can be foreseeable) Tests are depending on different jurisdiction. (if jurisdiction is not mentioned, jurisdiction follows different rules) –-> hard to gauze
1. extent (how much damages was created in terms of money value) - in this case unforeseeable 2. type of injury (person or property, fire or punching) – in this case unforeseeable
3. manner (focuses on exact course of events that brings accident, ex. fire caused by spark) -
4. plaintiff (person injured) – in this case foreseeable

directness – no other independent causes (benzyne), but can be arguable (not direct case....the existence of benzyne) Dropping is the immediate cause of the fire

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