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American Trading & Production Corp. v. Shell International Marine, Ltd.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
453 F.2d 939 (2d Cir. 1972)


Facts

Shell International Marine, Ltd. (Shell) (defendant) hired American Trading & Production (American Trading) (plaintiff) to transport Shell’s cargo on a tank vessel from Texas to India. The contract provided for a standard rate and toll based on an expectation that American Trading would use the Suez Canal on its way to India. However, once American Trading was already on the way to India, the Suez Canal was closed due to war in the Middle East. As a result, American Trading had to use a different route to India that was much further and ended up costing it about one-third more than the price agreed upon with Shell. American Trading brought suit to recover the additional cost, claiming that the closing of the Suez Canal made its performance as contemplated in the contract legally impossible. The trial court found in favor of Shell. American Trading appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Mulligan, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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