North American Van Lines v. Rosenau Transport Ltd.

In Carriage of Goods by Road/Rail on (Updated )

This was an action for damage to a cargo of photocopiers. The Court held that the damage was caused by the negligence of the Defendant in failing to properly secure the photocopiers for transit. The defence was that there was an agreement between the parties that the Defendant would not be liable for any damage. The evidence was that the Defendant had verbally advised the Plaintiff prior to the shipment that the Defendant would accept no liability for the shipment. This agreement was evidence by a term in the bill of lading stating "Uncrated,no claim to carrier". Notwithstanding this, the Court found that the Plaintiff had not signed or initialed the term "no claim to carrier" and that the clause was in conflict with the maximum liability provision of the bill of lading. The Court further held that even if the exclusion applied it would cover only the risks incidental to transportation and would not relieve the Defendant from liability for its negligence. In result, the Plaintiff was given judgment for limitation amount of $2.00 per pound.