The Cargo Letter

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New Transport Related Legal Cases

New Transport Related Legal Cases

City of Columbus v. Ours Garage & Wrecker Serv., Inc.
U.S. Supreme Court June 20, 2002
INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT (The Act Does Not Bar a State from Delegating to its Political Subdivisions the State's Authority to Establish Safety Regulations Governing Motor Carriers of Property). U.S. Supreme Court held 7-2 (opinion by Ginsburg, dissent by Scalia) that the Interstate Commerce Act (Act) providing exemption to a State from federal law preemption does not preclude a State from delegating its powers to municipalities & other local units. Ours Garage & Wrecker Service, brought suit against the City of Columbus (City) to enjoin enforcement of the City's two-truck regulations on the ground that they were preempted by the Act. The District Court agreed. The 6th Circuit affirmed.
On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed, holding that the exception from preemption applied to local as well as State regulations. The Court reasoned that preemption analysis starts with the presumption that State police powers are not to be superseded unless Congress shows a clear & manifest purpose for doing so, which is not provided here.
http://laws.findlaw.com/us/000/01-419.html

Federal Maritime Commission Vs. South Carolina Ports
U.S. Supreme Court
May 28, 2002
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=000&invol=01-46

Kukje Hwajae Insurance v. M/V Hyundai Liberty
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
June 28, 2002
NVOCC/Jurisdictional Clause: Cargo owner is bound by the forum selection clause of a bill of lading issued by the carrier to the NVOCC and the NVOCC may take advantage of the statutory limit of liability referred to in its bill of lading. In the instant case, a cargo owner contracted with a non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC), which issued a bill of lading, to have its cargo transported from Korea to Los Angeles. The NVOCC's bill of lading provided that disputes ere to resolved in U.S. court. The carrier issued its own bill of lading to the NVOCC. The cargo was damaged en route. Plaintiff cargo insurer brought suit in LA against the vessel & the NVOCC for full damages. The court held that, since the NVOCC acted as the agent of the shipper, the shipper was bound by the forum selection clause of the carrier's bill of lading - which provided that disputes were to be resolved in Korea. The court further held that the bill of lading issued by the NVOCC met the COGSA fair opportunity requirement, allowing the shipper to declare a higher value that the statutory limit. Since the shipper did not declare a higher value on the bill of lading, it was bound by the statutory limit. NVOCC represented by the lawyers of Countryman & McDaniel in U.S. District Court.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0056970p.pdf

Bank One Louisiana v. M/V Mr. Dean
5th Circuit Court of Appeals
June 10, 2002
Maritime Liens/Charter Parties: A maritime lien for breach of a charter attaches when the owner places the vessel at the charterer's disposal & remains inchoate until perfected by a breach or discharged by the undisturbed end of the charter. Thus the charterer's maritime lien for breach of the charter had priority over the bank's preferred ship mortgage since the vessel was placed at the charterer's disposal before the mortgage was recorded, although the owner's breach of the charter occurred after the mortgage was recorded.
www.admiraltylawguide.com/circt/5thmrdean.html

Cooper/T. Smith Stevedoring v. Director, OWCP
5th Circuit Court of Appeals
June 5, 2002
Longshore & Harbor Workers' Act: Title 33 U.S.C. 914(j) does not entitle an employer to a credit or offset against a widow's death benefits for the overpayment of disability benefits erroneously awarded by an administrative law judge.
www.admiraltylawguide.com/circt/5thcoopert.html

Francisco v. M/T Stolt Achievement
5th Circuit Court of Appeals
June 4, 2002
Jones Act/Arbitration: The district court properly ordered plaintiff foreign seaman's personal injury claim to arbitration since plaintiff's employment contract containing the arbitration provision was covered by the Convention on the Recognition & Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 9 U.S.C. 201-208, which does not contain an exclusion for seamen employment contracts as does the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. 1-16.
www.admiraltylawguide.com/circt/5thfrancisco.html

Sestich v. Long Beach Container Terminal
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
May 20, 2002
Longshore & Harbor Workers' Act: The claimant's "wage-earning capacity" within the meaning of the Act is equal to his actual post-injury earnings, and he is entitled to two-thirds of the difference between his "wage-earning capacity" and his pre-injury "average weekly wages." Thus because claimant's post-injury "wage-earning capacity" exceeded his pre-injury "average weekly wages," the Board properly held that Claimant was not entitled to benefits.
www.admiraltylawguide.com/circt/9thsestich.pdf

Senator Line v. Sunway Line
2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
May 17, 2002
Carriage of Goods by Sea Act ("COGSA"): Where neither the carrier nor the shippers had actual or constructive knowledge of the inherently dangerous nature of shipped goods, 46 U.S.C. 1304(6) imposes strict liability on the shippers for damages & expenses arising from the shipment of those goods. Thus where the carrier incurred damages arising from the spontaneous combustion of a chemical cargo aboard its ship, the shippers were strictly liable for those damages even if, prior to the shipment, they did not know & could not have known that the chemical cargo was inherently dangerous.
www.admiraltylawguide.com/circt/2ndsenatorline.html

United States v. Angell
2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
May 16, 2002
Government Regulation: Defendant violated the Rivers & Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899, 33 U.S.C. 401 et seq., by adding 2 floats to his dock in the Silver Brook Canal in Flanders, New York, without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ("Army Corps"). Defendant's argument that the canal was not navigable at low tide & thus was not covered by the Act was to no avail since the Army Corps' jurisdiction "extends to the line on the shore reached by the plane of the mean (average) high water." 33 C.F.R. 329.12(a)(2).
www.admiraltylawguide.com/circt/2ndusvangell.html

Schenker International (Australia) Pty Ltd v. Siemens Ltd
New South Wales Supreme Court
June 2002
CARRIAGE BY AIR: Operators contracting on the approved IATA form of air waybill for carriage before the airport of departure, or after the airport of arrival, have the right to limit their liability to US$20 per kilo for loss or damage occurring outside the airport-to-airport segment of the journey.
www.onlinedmc.co.uk/schenkers_appeal.htm

Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News Lloyds & other world sources.

The Cargo Letter Correspondents:
Michael S. McDaniel, Esq., Editor (Countryman & McDaniel).
Cameron W. Roberts, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)

Please click below for other sections:
Section A: Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News|
Section B: FF World Air News |
Section C: FF World Ocean News | Section D: FF in Cyberspace |
Section E: The Forwarder Broker World

Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News Lloyds & other world sources.

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