Logourl black
From our private database of 13,800+ case briefs...

Overseas Tankship (U.K.) Ltd. v. Miller Steamship Co. [Wagon Mound No. 2]

Privy Council
1 A.C. 617 (1967)


Facts

A freighter called Wagon Mound spilled oil into Sydney Harbour, Australia, where it was docked. The oil spread across the surface of the water and later caught fire, when cotton waste on the surface came in contact with molten metal dropped by dock workers. The resulting fire damaged the wharf and two ships. In a separate action, the wharf operator sued Overseas Tankship Ltd. (Overseas) (defendant) under a negligence theory. See Overseas Tankship (U.K.) Ltd. v. Morts Dock & Engineering Co., Ltd., [1961] A.C. 388 (P.C. Aust.) [Wagon Mound No. 1]. On appeal, the Privy Council in that case held that imposing negligence liability for a careless act was improper where damages were not reasonably foreseeable. The present action was brought by Miller Steamship Co. (Miller) (plaintiff). Miller owned the ships that were badly damaged in the fire. Miller sued Overseas, the Wagon Mound’s owner, under theories of negligence and nuisance. The trial court found in favor of Overseas, concluding that the likelihood of the oil igniting was so slight that the damage to Miller’s ships was not reasonably foreseeable. The Supreme Court of New South Wales affirmed. Miller appealed to the Privy Council.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Reid, L.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • 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.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 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.