Delivery of Cargo to Carrier Creates Quasi-Contract

Wednesday, November 06, 2002
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a quasi-contract is created when the shipper delivers cargo to the carrier for ocean transportation. In the instant case, the shipper contracted with (and paid) a freight forwarder for shipment of its cargoes from the United States to Syria. The bills of lading were not signed by the shipper. The shipper delivered the cargoes directly to the carrier’s vessels at the pier in Texas. The cargoes were transported and delivered in good order. The shipper paid the freight forwarder, which went out of business and failed to pay the carrier. The carrier then sued the shipper. The court held that, under federal common law, a quasi-contract (or contract implied in law) will be held to exist where a party has performed as expected and payment is necessary so as to enable justice to be accomplished, even where no formal contract existed between the parties. Source: HK Law

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