CULLEN FUEL CO., INC. V. W. E. HEDGER, INC., 290 U. S. 82 (1933)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Cullen Fuel Co., Inc. v. W. E. Hedger, Inc., 290 U.S. 82 (1933)

Cullen Fuel Co., Inc. v. W. E. Hedger, Inc.

No. 9

Argued October 11, 1933

Decided November 6, 1933

290 U.S. 82


1. Rulings of the court below that, under the circumstances of this case, a contract of charter, orally arranged by an employee of a corporate owner, was the personal contract of the owner, and that a bailee of cargo was entitled to recover for its loss due to a breach of the warranty of seaworthiness, sustained. P. 290 U. S. 88.

Page 290 U. S. 82

2. A boat owner who has chartered his boat by his personal contract of charter cannot, under U.S.C. Title 46, §§ 183, 188, 189, limit his liability for breach of his warranty of seaworthiness, even though such warranty is not expressed in the contract, but is merely implied. P. 290 U. S. 88.

3. The warranty of seaworthiness is implied from the circumstance of the parties and the subject matter of the contract, and is as much a part of the contract as any express stipulation. It may be negatived only by express covenant. P. 290 U. S. 88.

4. Inasmuch as the warranty of seaworthiness relates only to the fitness of the vessel at the commencement of the voyage, and not to her suitability under conditions thereafter arising which are beyond the owner's control, the denial of limitation of liability in case where the owner by his personal contract warrants seaworthiness does not cut away the protection afforded to ship owners by the Act of Congress. P. 290 U. S. 88.

62 F.2d 68 affirmed.

Certiorari, 289 U.S. 717, to review a judgment affirming a decree of the district court, 45 F.2d 859, denying limitation of liability in admiralty.

Page 290 U. S. 87

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