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Accident

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General Average. Possessory Lien Over the Cargo


Average Accident
Last updated: 06-Oct-2014

Per Kerr J in The Mareva A.S. [1977] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 368, at p. 381:

The owners … submit that "average accident" means a "general average accident". I reject this, as did the arbitrators. I think that it merely means an accident which causes damage.

Per Gross J in Cosco Bulk Carrier Co Ltd v M/V "Saldanha" [2010] EWHC 1340 at para 11:

It is right that Kerr J’s observation was obiter. But, as the tribunal remarked and over and above the respect due to observations of Kerr J:

Our own experience is that in the period of almost 30 years since it was given, it has been accepted as correct, and as settling the issue of the meaning of ‘average accident’ in the NYPE form, both in textbooks and in arbitration. We imagine that innumerable charterparties have been made on this basis.

I respectfully share the tribunal’s understanding. In the circumstances, I agree entirely with the tribunal that it would only be right to differ from the view expressed by Kerr J if persuaded that it was clearly wrong. To the contrary, that view seems right to me as it did to the tribunal.


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