Mr. William C. Cannon, of New York City, for petitioner.[ The Gracie D Chambers 248 U.S. 387 (1919) ]
[248 U.S. 387, 390] Mr. Robinson Leech, of New York City, for respondent.
Mr. Justice McKENNA delivered the opinion of the Court.
Libel in admiralty on the schooner Gracie D. Chambers, her tackle, etc., to recover the sum of $5,845 prepaid freight on a cargo of paper loaded on the schooner for shipment from New York to Bordeaux, France, by the International Paper Company. Judgment went for libelant in the District Court. It was reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals by a divided court (253 Fed. 182). To this action this writ is directed.
The facts as found by the Circuit Court of Appeals are as follows:
The case was submitted with Nos. 449 and 450, 248 U.S. 377 , 39 Sup. Ct. 147, and its primary question is, as there, the sufficiency of the clauses in the bill of lading as a defense. In those cases we decided that the bill of lading expressed the contract of the parties and hence determined their rights and liabil [248 U.S. 387, 392] ities. And it is the safer reliance, the accommodation of all the circumstances that induced it. It was for the parties to consider them and to accept their estimate is not to do injustice but accord to each the due of the law determined by their own judgment and convention, which represented, we may suppose, what there was of advantage or disadvantage as well in the rates as in the risks.
It is asserted, however, that the vessel in this case did not break ground and that this fact distinguishes the case from Nos. 449 and 450. The fact does not deflect the principle of those cases. It was not made to depend upon the fact of breaking ground, but upon the bills of lading which provided for the payment of freight upon the shipment of the goods and the right to retain it though the goods were not carried, their carriage being prevented by causes beyond the control of the carrier.
Therefore, upon the authority of those cases, the judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals in this case is affirmed.