Pendleton v. Benner Line,
246 U.S. 353 (1918)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Pendleton v. Benner Line, 246 U.S. 353 (1918)

Pendleton v. Benner Line

No. 178

Argued March 11, 12, 1918

Decided March 25, 1918

246 U.S. 353


Liability over is the reason for a bailee's right to recover the full value of the goods -- a reason which, whatever its inadequacy in history or theory as applied to torts, applies with real force to contract relations like those in this case.

A transportation company, holding itself out as a common carrier by sea, received consignments of goods, fixed and collected the freight, loaded the goods on a vessel which it chartered for their carriage, and issued bills of lading to the shippers signed by the master or agents of the vessel. The vessel proved unseaworthy, and the cargo was lost. Held that the company was liable over to the owners of the cargo, and, by subrogation, to the insurers, and could recover its full value from the vessel owners under their express warranty of seaworthiness, in the charter party, even if technically the possession of the cargo was with the vessel owners.

The Act of June 26, 1884, c. 121, 23 Stat. 57, does not limit the liability of a shipowner upon his personal warranty of seaworthiness.

A charter party, containing a warranty of seaworthiness, purported to be entered into by a firm as agents of the vessel, but was signed in the firm name by one of its members who was part owner. Held that the warranty was his personal contract.

An owner is liable on his express warranty of seaworthiness whether to blame for the breach or not.

217 F. 497 affirmed.

Page 246 U. S. 354

The case is stated in the opinion.

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