Denny, Mott & Dickson Ltd v Benvenuto

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHouse of Lords (Ireland)
Judgment Date01 January 1921
H. of L.,
Denny, Mott & Dickson, Ltd.
Appellants
Benvenuto
Respondent

Bill of lading - Collision - Default of master owner - Inference of abandonment of voyage - Right of cargo owners -Delivery without payment of freight - Inaction equivalent to refusal.

The appellants, consignees of a cargo of timber shipped at P. in Florida onthe sailing vessel "L." under a charter party for delivery at Cardiff, claimed that they were under no liability for freight. The respondent, master and owner of the "L.," and the crew had on 3rd May, 1917, under compulsion of an attack by a German submarine, left the "L."in circumstances which, as held in Bradley v. NewsomELR ([1919] A. C. 16), did not amount to abandonment without any intention of resuming possession, but the vessel was salved, and on 16th June, 1917, towed to Queenstown, when possession for the respondent was resumed. She was to have been towed to Cardiff, but on 14th August, she was, through the negligence of the respondent, seriously damaged by collision. The appellants desired to have delivery of the timber, and before and after the date of the collision interviews and correspondence took place between the ship's agents, the Salvage Association and solicitors acting on behalf of the appellants, and surveys of the ship were made as to dealing with the cargo and vessel. On 31st August, 1917, the respondent's agent asked inter alia whether the appellants would approve discharging the cargo at Queenstown for the purpose of effecting possibly necessary repairs. The Master made additional...

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