In February 1791, the ship Leviathan, sailed from Borrowstounness for Greenland on a whaling expedition. The vessel's owners, Charles Addison and Sons, took out an insurance policy with William Duguid, Andrew M'Kenzie, George Robertson, and James Hunter for 90 butts of blubber, with a provision that the underwriters would pay for whatever portion less than 90 the vessel returned with. The Leviathan was delayed at Stromness, Orkney for several weeks, and when the ship returned to its home port with only 3 or 4 butts, Addison and Sons sought to collect on the insurance. Their attempt to cash in the policy led to litigation in the Admiralty Court where the Judge Admiral initially ruled for the underwriters, before subsequently ruling against them on the Addisons' appeal. Duguid, M'Kenzie, Robertson, and Hunter asked the Court of Session to reverse the Judge Admiral's ruling, arguing that the Leviathan's delay in the Orkney's voided the insurance policy. Addison and Sons in turn argued that their reading of 26 Geo. III, cap. 41 and 29 Geo. III supported their claims, and further argued that the insurance policy was actually a wager, an illegal gambling contract violative of 19th Geo. II.

Published Reports

William Morison, The Decisions of the Court of Session (1811), pg. 7077
Halkerston, Compendium (1819), pg. 221, , pg. 222


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