Legal Subject: Jettison

Case Date Legal Subject Abstract
Lindsay v. M'Laren 1780 Admiralty, Jettison This case was about liability for goods jettisoned from a ship. Alexander Maclaren, master of the Diligence of Fortrose, caused goods belonging to David Lindsay to be thrown overboard during a storm. Lindsay sued Maclaren in the High Court of Admiralty, seeking compensation. Lindsay claimed that when goods were ejected to save a ship, it was the master’s duty to apportion liability among all owners of the ship’s cargo; according to Lindsay, Maclaren had failed to do this. Maclaren, in turn, brought an action against all the owners, including Lindsay, so that their liability could be calculated. Lindsay was successful in his action before the High Court of Admiralty, and Maclaren (together with his cautioner, Alexander Mackenzie) offered a bill of suspension in the Court of Session. Maclaren argued that the proceeding should be stayed until his action against the owners was concluded. However, Lindsay argued that Maclaren was liable because he failed to make up an average-bill apportioning liability to the other owners, and because he improperly stowed Lindsay’s goods above deck.
Richardson and Co v. Stoner, Hunter, and Ker 20 Nov 1783 Jettison, Insurance This case was about apportioning liability for a cargo of salmon that was partially jettisoned and partially sold for a lower-than-expected price before reaching its planned destination. The owners of the salmon raised an action for damages against their underwriters, as well as the merchants who sold the salmon and the shipmaster-owner of the vessel; they argued that the shipmaster lacked authority to make the sale. The underwriters argued that although the relevant policy covered the jettisoned cargo, it did not apply to a partial loss such as the allegedly premature sale.