The opinion of the court was delivered by: SWEET
Plaintiff Transatlantic Marine Claims Agency, Inc. ("Transatlantic") has moved for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56, Fed. R. Civ. P, to recover a cargo loss. Defendants Sea-Land Service, Inc. ("Sea-Land"), Orient Overseas Container Line (U.K.), Ltd. ("OOCL") and M/V OOCL INSPIRATION (the "INSPIRATION") (collectively, the "Defendants") have cross-moved for summary judgment.
For the reasons set forth below, the Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment will be granted and the Defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment will be denied.
Transatlantic is a New York entity.
Sea-Land is a foreign entity with an office in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
OOCL is foreign entity with an office in New York, New York.
The INSPIRATION is a vessel which has been in this district.
The complaint in this action was filed on November 28, 1995, alleging a loss resulting from damages to cargo carried on the INSPIRATION, a vessel owned and operated by Sea-Land, and under a bill of lading issued by OOCL.
On October 29, 1996, Transatlantic moved for summary judgment. On January 7, 1997, Sea-Land and OOCL cross-moved for summary judgment. Oral argument on the motions was heard on January 22, 1997. Further submissions were received by the Court through February 3, 1997, at which time the motions were considered fully submitted.
On March 25, 1994, 367 rolls of paper (the "cargo") were delivered to OOCL or Sea-Land in Antwerp, Belgium for carriage to Charleston, South Carolina. The 367 rolls of paper were transported in 26 containers. OOCL issued bill of lading # 321 68580, dated March 25, 1994, (the "Bill of Lading") which acknowledged the cargo to be in apparent good order and condition.
The Bill of Lading stated that the INSPIRATION was the vessel to carry the cargo. The INSPIRATION was owned and operated by Sea-Land at the time of the shipment. Sea-Land has voluntarily increased its limit of liability above the COGSA limit of $ 500.00 per package by adopting the limits stated in the Hague-Visby Rules.
The Bill of Lading's relevant terms are as follows:
RECEIVED for shipment in external apparent good order and condition, unless otherwise indicated, the number of packages or customary freight units said by the Merchant to contain the Goods described in the "Particulars Furnished by Shipper" on the face hereof. Weights, measurements, marks, numbers, quantity, ...