Fishman & Tobin, Inc. v. Tropical Shipping & Construction Co.

1999 AMC 1051 (1999)

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Fishman & Tobin, Inc. v. Tropical Shipping & Construction Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
1999 AMC 1051 (1999)

Facts

Fishman & Tobin, Inc. (Fishman), and MacClenny Products (MacClenny) (plaintiffs) were two shippers whose cargo containers were lost at sea off a cargo vessel owned by Tropical Shipping & Construction Co. (Tropical) (defendant). Fishman’s cargo was 27,908 pairs of boys’ pants that were bundled in sets of a dozen, packaged into 39 cartons called “big packs,” and loaded into one container. The bill of lading stated the cargo as “one 40 foot container said to contain 39 big packs containing 27,908 units of boys’ pants.” MacClenny’s cargo was 5,000 men’s jackets, individually wrapped in plastic on hangers and loaded into the container. The bill of lading stated the cargo as “one forty foot container said to contain 5000 units of men’s jackets.” After the containers were lost, Fishman and MacClenny sued Tropical under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) for their losses. Tropical admitted liability but asserted that under the liability limit of the statute, it was only liable for $500 per cargo package. The district court was required to determine what constituted a cargo package for each shipper’s cargo.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Graham, J.)

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