Failure to instruct terminal of storage conditions

Importers of wines from France into the United States had previously encountered problems with consignments imported through New York during the winter months when the wine could be subjected to sub-zero temperatures causing it to freeze and so lose its quality.

In response to this problem, the Line issued instructions which required the agent to instruct the terminal operator to open the container as soon as it was delivered and place portable heaters inside to keep the temperature in the container above freezing.

Unfortunately, the agent failed to give the necessary instructions in respect of a cargo of nine containers of wine, and whilst eight of the containers suffered no damage, the carriers received a claim for US$ 120,000 for freezing damage to the remaining container.

A claim was made against the agent and after lengthy negotiations a satisfactory settlement in the sum of US$ 32,650 was agreed.

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