U.S. Supreme Court
Crossman v. Burrill, 179 U.S. 100 (1900)
Crossman v. Burrill
Argued March 14, 1900
Decided November 26, 1900
179 U.S. 100
In a charter party which contains a clause for cesser of the liability of the charterers, coupled with a clause creating a lien in favor of the ship owner, the cesser clause is to be construed, if possible, as inapplicable to a liability with which the lien is not commensurate.
By a charter party, the charterers agreed to pay a stipulated rate of freight on proper delivery of the cargo at the port of destination, and to discharge the cargo at that port at the rate of an average amount daily, and the charter party contained these clauses:
"The bills of lading to be signed as presented, without prejudice to the charter. . . . Vessel to have an absolute lien upon the cargo for all freight, dead freight and demurrage. Charterers' responsibility to cease when the vessel is loaded and bills of lading are signed."
The bills of lading provided that the cargo should be delivered to the charterers or their assigns, "they paying freight as per charter party, and average accustomed," but did not mention demurrage.
Held: that the cesser clause did not affect the liability of the charterers to the ship owners for demurrage according to the charter party.
A provision in a charter party obliging the charterers to discharge the cargo at the port of destination at the average rate of a certain amount per day, and requiring them to pay a certain sum for every day's detention "by default of" the charterers, does not make them liable for a detention caused by the actual firing of guns from an enemy's ships of war upon the forts in the harbor, rendering the discharge of the cargo dangerous and impossible.
The case is stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary