Kodak v. Racine Terminal (Montreal) Ltd.

In Carriage of Goods by Sea on (Updated )

This was an application for summary judgment by a cargo owner for damage to a shipment of paper. The cargo was damaged by the crane operator of the Defendant terminal during unloading. The only issue in the case was whether the terminal could rely upon a Himalaya clause contained in the bill of lading. Although there was no written contract between the terminal and the ocean carrier authorizing the ocean carrier to insert a Himalaya clause, the terminal sought to rely upon a contract with the predecessor of the current carrier, whose business the current carrier had acquired. This contract, however, contained a clause prohibiting assignment unless consented to in writing. Express written consent was never obtained. The court held that failure to obtain the prior written consent was fatal. The court further held that the clause requiring written consent was fatal to the Defendant’s alternate argument that there had been a novation of the contract. In result, the terminal was not entitled to rely upon the Himalaya clause.