Biays v. Chesapeake Insurance Company - 11 U.S. 415 (1813)
U.S. Supreme Court
Biays v. Chesapeake Insurance Company, 11 U.S. 7 Cranch 415 415 (1813)
Biays v. Chesapeake Insurance Company
11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 415
There cannot be a total loss of part of a cargo consisting of memorandum articles of only one species, such as hides.
Nor are the underwriters liable for salvage upon such articles, under the clause which authorizes the insured to labor and travel for the preservation of the cargo, unless perhaps in a case where the salvage may have prevented an actual total loss of the cargo.
This clause in the policy can only be understood to apply to the case of those losses or injuries for which the assured, if they had happened, would have been responsible.
Error to the Circuit Court for the District of Maryland in an action of covenant upon a policy of insurance on hides which by the memorandum in the policy are declared to be free from average unless general. The policy contains the usual stipulation "that in case of loss or damage, the assured shall labor, &c., for the preservation of the property, to the expenses of which the assurers will contribute." The voyage was to Amsterdam. The vessel arrived at a place called "Niew Diep," where, according to the usage of the trade, the hides were put into several lighters to be sent to Amsterdam. One of these lighters sunk, but some of the hides contained in it were afterwards fished up and saved by the people of the place, for which a salvage of $6,000 was allowed and paid. The rest were totally lost. This action was brought to recover for those totally lost, and for the salvage of those which were saved.
On a case stated, the judgment of the court below was for the defendants; on which the plaintiff brought his writ of error.