Opinion of the German Reichsgericht in the Matter of Suedd. Transp. Vers. A..G., Plaintiff-Appellant v. W., Defendant-Respondent

RGZ 106 386 (1923)

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Opinion of the German Reichsgericht in the Matter of Suedd. Transp. Vers. A..G., Plaintiff-Appellant v. W., Defendant-Respondent

Germany Reich Court
RGZ 106 386 (1923)

Facts

Suedd. Transp. Vers. A..G. (STV) (plaintiff), the assignee of a shipper of goods, arranged for W (defendant), a Berlin freight forwarder, to send the goods. The shipping contract contained a standardized clause created by the Association of Berlin Forwarders, which required the freight forwarder to insure the goods if the contract specified a value amount—with the shipper to pay the insurance premium—with recovery for loss limited to the insured amount. If no value was stated or the shipper did not seek insurance, the clause provided for a limitation of liability based on weight. The goods were stolen while in W’s custody, and STV sued W. W relied on the limitation-of-liability clause. STV argued that the limitation-of-liability clause was a unilateral monopolistic limitation barred by German law. Both the trial court and the appellate court held in favor of W, reasoning that the availability of insurance satisfied the ability to recover damages for lost or stolen goods. STV appealed to the Reich Court—the highest civil court in Germany from 1879 to 1945.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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