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It seems now clear that a technical total loss may MARCARarise from the mere deterioration of a cargo by any of the perils insured against, if the deterioration be ascertained at an intermediate port, of necessity, short of the port of destination. In such case, although the ship be in a capacity to perform the voyage, yet if the Ins. Co., voyage be not worth pursuing, or the thing insured be so damaged and spoiled as to be of little or no value, the insured has a right to abandon the projected adventure, and throw upon the underwriter the unprofitable and disastrous subject of insurance. It has therefore been held, that if a cargo be damaged in the course of the voyage, and it appear that what has been saved is less in value than the amount of the freight, it is a clear' case of a total loss. It does not, however, appear that the exact quantum of damage which shall authorize an abandonment as for a total loss, has ever become the direct subject of adjudication in the English Courts. The celebrated treatise Le Guidon, ch. 7, art. 1, copsiders that a damage exceeding the moiety of the value of the thing insured, is sufficient to authorize an abandonment. This rule has received some countenance from more recent elementary writers; and, from its public convenience and certainty, has been adopted as the governing principle in some of the most respectable commercial states in the union; and perhaps is now so generally established as not easily to be shaken. 1, John. c. 141. 1, John. R. 335, 406. Marsh. Ins. 562. Note 92, Am. edit. 1810. Park, 194, 6 edition.
But this rule has never been deemed to extend to a cargo consisting wholly of memorandum articles. The legal effect of the memorandum is to protect the underwriter from all partial losses; and if a loss by deterioration, exceeding a moiety in value, would authorize an abandonment, the great object of the stipulation would be completely evaded. It seems, therefore, to be the settled doctrine that nothing short of a total extinction, either physical or in value, of memorandum articles at an intermediate port, would entitle the insured to turn the case into a total loss, where the voyage is capable of being performed. And perhaps, even as to an extinction in value,' where the commodity specifically remains, it may yet be deemed not quite settled whether,
MARCAR- under the like circumstances, it would authorize atı DIER abandonment for a total loss. Dyson v. Rowcroft, 3,
Bos. and Pull. 474. Maggrath v. Church, 1, Caines R. CHESA- 212. Cocking v. Frazer, Marshall, 227. Park, 152,
6th edition. INS. CO.
The case before the Court is of a mixed character. It embraces articles of both descriptions; some within and others without the purview of the memorandum. If, in such a case, a deterioration exceeding a moiety in value, be a proper case of technical total loss, it will follow that, in many cases, the underwriter will, indirectly, be rendered responsible for partial losses on the memorandum articles. Suppose, in such a case, the damage of the memorandum articles were 40 per cent. and to the other articles 10 per cent. in the whole a. mounting to half the value of the cargo, the underwri. ter would be responsible for a technical total loss, and thereby made to bear the whole damage, from which the memorandum meant to esempt him. Indeed cases might arise in which the damage might exclusively fall on memorandum articles; and if it exceeded the moiety, in value, of the whole cargo, might load him with the burthen of a partial loss, in manifest contravention of the intention of the parties. A construction which leads to such a consequence cannot be admitted unless it be unavoidable. And we are entirely satisficd that such a construction ought not to prevail. The underwriter is, in all cases of deterioration, entitled to an exemption from partial losses on the memorandum articles; and in order to effectuate this right, it is necessary, where a technical total loss is sought to be maintained upon the mere ground of deterioration of the cargo, at an intermediate port, to a moiety of its value, to exclude from that estimate all det rioration of the memorandum articles. Upon this principle, on a cargo of a mixed character, no abandonment for mere deterioration in value during the voyage, can be valid, unless the damage on the non-memorandum articles exceed a moiety of the value of the whole cargo including the memorandum articles. The case is considered, as to the underwriter, the same as though the memorandum articles should exist in their original sound state. In this way, full effect is given to the contract of the parties. The underwri
CHESAPEAKE INS. CO.
ter is never made responsible for partial losses on me- MARCARmorandum articles, however great; and the technical total losses for which alone he can be liable, are such as stand unaffected by the perishable nature of the commodity which he insures.
In the present case, the facts alleged by the Plaintiff do not show a depreciation of a moiety in value, excluding the memorandum articles. There is no evi. dence of the quantum of depreciation of any part of the cargo. The forced sales at Antigua could not, under the circumstances, constitute a medium by which to ascertain it. Admitting, therefore, the rule to be correct, that the party had a right to abandon where the depreciation exceeds a moiety of the value, the Plaintiff has not brought himself within that rule as applied to a cargo of a mixed character like the present. The Court below were right, therefore, in deciding that there was no total loss proved by the perils of the seas.
The next question is, whether there was a total loss by the barratry of the master. And this depends exclusively upon the consideration, who was owner of the brig for the voyage; for it is conceded, on all sides, that the conduct of the master was barratrous, if he was in a situation to commit that offence. Barratry is an act committed by the master or mariners of a ship, for some unlawful or fraudulent purpose, contrary to their duty to their owners, whereby the latter sustain an injury. It follows, therefore, from the very terms of the definition, that it cannot be committed by a master who is owner for the voyage ; because he cannot commit a fraud against himself. But it may be committed against a person who is owner for the voyage, although he may not be the general owner of the ship. A person may be owner for the voyage, who, by a contract with the general owner, bires the ship for the voyage, and has the exclusive possession, command and navigation of the ship. Such is understood to have been the case of Vallejo v Wheeler, Cowp. 143. But where the general owner retains the possession, command and navigation of the ship, and contracts to carry a cargo on freight for the voyage, the charter party is considered as a mere affreightment sounding in covenant, and the freighter is not clothed with the character VOL. VII.
MARCAR- or legal responsibility of ownership; such was the case of
Hooe & Co. v. Groverman in this Court, 1 Cr. 214. In the first case, the general freighter is responsible for the conduct of the master and mariners during the voyage; in
the latter case, the responsibility rests on the general ownINS. co. er, On examining the charter-party in the present case,
there can be no doubt, from the terms and stipulations, that it falls. within the latter class of cases. The master, who was the general owner, retained the exclusive possession, command and management of the vessel, and she was navigated at his expense during the voyage. The whole charter party, except the introductory clause, sounds merely in covenant. The ownership was not divested by the covenant of affreightment, and, consequently, the master was incapable of committing barratry. There was, then, no total loss on the second count in the declaration.
The opinion of the Circuit Court on this exception must be sustained. But there are other exceptions on the record, in which it is admitted by the parties that the Circuit Court erred. The points intended to be raised in these exceptions have, in effect, being decided by this Court in Caze and Richaud v. the Baltimore Insurance Company, at Feb. term, 1813. For the erl'ors in these exceptions the judgment must be reversed. with directions to the Circuit Court to award a venire facias de novo.
HALL 2. LEIGH AND AL.
If two joint
THIS case is so fully stated in the opinion of the owners of Court that it is deemed unnecessary to add more than merchandise consign it to a
that HARPER and PINKNEY, for the Plaintiff in error, merchant for did not argue the case as there was no appearance for sale, and in the Defendants in error, but simply stated that they form him that each owns one contended that the separate instructions of each owner moiety; and if severed the joint interest, and cited 1, Esp. 117, and perate and
va. Watson on Partnership, 233, 234.
Feb. 18th....LIVINGSTON, J. delivered the opinion of HALL the Court as follows:
LEIGH. This cause comes here on a writ of error to the Cir.cuit Court of the United States, for the district of Ma- riant instrucryland.
tions, each for his own moie
ly, one of This action was brought by the Plaintiff, who was
the consignors also Plaintiff below, to recover the proceeds of one hun-maintain a se; dred bags of cotton which had been shipped to the De- parate action fendants, and by them sold on commission.
against the consignee for a
violation of his At the trial it appeared that the Plaintiff, toget}ier
structions, with William Potts and Co. in 1807, made a joint shipment of two hundred bales of cotton to the address of the Defendants, who resided at Liverpool, to make sale thereof for their joint benefit. This cotton belonged one half to the Plaintiff, and the other half to Wm. Potts and Co. The shipment was accompanied by two letters to the Defendants, the one written by the Plaintiff bearing date 14th February, 1807, in which after advising them of the shipment, he adds, “Mr. Potts has written you on the «« subject of his interest in this adventure, for myself “ I have to request that you will after covering me in « cost and charges, make such disposition of my one 6 half the shipment as your own judgment may think, 6 best for my interest."
The other letter was written by William Potts and Co. and is dated 5th February, 1807, in which they also advised the Defendants of the shipment which they say is 6 for account of Mr. Hall and ourselves each one, half," and after directing what is to be done with their moiety, they observe that " under present circumstances, Mr. Hall • will decline drawing on his proportion, “as he wishes you to avoid selling at the present prices “ as long as possible--we refer you to him for more (particular directions."
In another letter of the 13th April, 1807, the Plaintiff directed the Defendants that, after effecting sales of his half of the cotton, on the terms of his first letter, " they should pass the nett proceeds of his proportion to the credit of Messrs. W. Potts & Co. and furnish bim