Reefer container in general cargo stow

Agents accepted a booking for the shipment of a reefer container containing lobster meat.  As agents for the Line one of their responsibilities was the preparation of the ship's stowage plan at the loading port.

Due to a clerical error in the agents' office the reefer container was loaded in a general cargo stow and when out-turned at the discharge port, the contents had to be destroyed.

The receivers made a claim for US$ 74,000 against the Line to which they had no defence and they in turn claimed indemnity from the agents.  After taking legal advice, the Line's claim was settled in full.

It is pertinent to mention here that the financial consequences of simple errors are impossible to foresee.  In this instance the value of the cargo was US$ 74,000 but it could well have been many times that figure.

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