Insurance Co. of North America v. M/V Ocean Lynx

901 F.2d 934 (1990)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Insurance Co. of North America v. M/V Ocean Lynx

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
901 F.2d 934 (1990)

Facts

Through its freight forwarder, Meadows Wye and Company (Meadows), Educational Innovation Systems International, Inc. (Edusystems) contracted with Mar Shipping Line, Inc. (Mar) (defendant) to ship equipment from Florida to Paraguay. Mar contracted with A. Bottacchi S.A. de Navegacion (Bottacchi) (defendant) to ship the equipment via the M/V Ocean Lynx (Lynx) (defendant), a vessel owned by Nabadi Maritime S.A. (Nabadi) (defendant). Mar and Bottacchi provided bills of lading. The back of Mar’s bill of lading, which was printed in very small print, provided that the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act applied and recited section 4(5) of the act, which limited Mar’s liability to $500 per package unless Edusystems declared a higher valuation and potentially paid more. Bottacchi’s bill of lading contained identical provisions. Additionally, Mar filed a tariff with the Federal Maritime Commission (commission) stating that Edusystems could declare an increased value to increase Mar’s liability. The container carrying Edusystems’s cargo was lost at sea, leading the Insurance Company of North America (insurer) (plaintiff), Edusystems’s insurance company, to sue Mar, Bottacchi, the Lynx (in rem), and Nabadi, seeking almost $250,000. Mar and Bottacchi responded that their liability was limited to $500 per package; Mar also cross-claimed against Bottacchi. The insurer countered that the $500 limit was inapplicable because Mar’s bill of lading was illegible. However, Meadows previously received hundreds of legible, substantively identical Mar bills of lading but never read their terms. Additionally, the insurer contended that Mar and Bottacchi did not provide Edusystems with the opportunity to declare a higher per-package value. The district court ruled that (1) although Mar’s bill of lading was legible only with a magnifying glass, the act’s liability limitation applied; (2) both bills of ladings’ incorporation of the act and Mar’s tariff gave Edusystems the opportunity to declare excess value; and (3) Edusystems did not want to declare excess value, preferring to rely on its insurance policy. The district court entered judgment for Edusystems against Mar for $29,500 and for Mar against Bottacchi for $29,500. Edusystems and Bottacchi appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 735,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership