Hinton against Dibbin and Others

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date01 January 1842
Date01 January 1842
CourtCourt of the Queen's Bench

English Reports Citation: 114 E.R. 253

IN THE QUEEN'S BENCH

Hinton against Dibbin and Others

S. C. 2 G. & D. 36; 11 L. J. Q. B. 113; 6 Jur. 601. Discussed and applied, Morritt v. North Eastern Railway, 1876, 1 Q. B. D. 309. Referred to, Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway v. Brown, 1883, 8 App. Gas. 709; Shaw v. Great Western Railway, [1894] 1 Q. B. 382.

[646] hinton against dibbin and others. 1842. Under stat. 11 G. 4& 1 W. 4, c. G8, if a parcel containing any of the valuable goods enumerated in sect. 1 be sent to a carrier for conveyance without a declaration of the nature and value of sueti goods, and without paying, or engaging to pay, an increased charge according to sect. 2, the carrier is not liable for their loss, though it happen by the gross negligence of his servants. [S. C. 2 G. & D. 36 ; 11 L. J. Q. B. 113 ; 6 Jur. G01. Discussed and applied, Marritt v. North Eastern Railway, 1876, 1 Q. B. D. 309. Referred to, Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway v. Brown, 1883, 8 App. Gas. 709 ; Shaw v. Great Western Railway, [1894] 1 Q. B. 382.] Case. The declaration stated that defendants, before and at the times, &c., were, and from thence hitherto have been, common carriers of goods for hire from a certain place, to wit London, to a certain other place, to wit Calne in Wiltshire : and thereupon certain persons, to wit Messrs. Springfield and Pickling, heretofore, &c., to wit on, &c., at a certain place, to wit the office of the defendants at Gerard's Hall, Basing Lane, in the City of London, for and on behalf of the plaintiff, caused to be delivered to defendants, aud they then accepted and received of and from the said Messrs. S. and F. for and on behalf of the plaintiff', divers, to wit two, parcels or bales containing divers goods and chattels, to wit 5000 yards of silk, of the plaintiff, of great value, to wit, &c., to be safely and securely carried and conveyed by the defendants from London aforesaid to Calne aforesaid; and there, to wit at Calne aforesaid, safely and securely to be delivered to plaintiff for certain reasonable reward, &c. : yet defendants, not regarding their duty as such common carriers as aforesaid, did nut nor would safely, &c. carry, &c., from London aforesaid to Calne aforesaid, nor there, to wit at Calne aforesaid, safely or securely deliver, &c. ; but on the contrary the defeudants so conducted themselves in the premises that, by and through the misfeasance, gross negligence, and wrongful conduct of defendants, and not otherwise, one of the said parcels or bales, and the contents of the same, being of great value, to wit, &c., [647] afterwards, to wit, &c., became and were wholly lost to plaintiff, &c. To the damage, &c. Plea, that, after the passing of a certain Act, &c. (11 G. 4 & 1 W. 4, c. 68), and before and at the time of the delivery to them of the said two parcels in the declara- 254 H1NTON V. DIBBIN 2Q.B. 6*8. tion mentioned, defendants were common carriers of goods by land for hire by a certain public conveyance, to wit a van from London to Calne as in the declaration mentioned ; and deiendants had also, before and at the time of the delivery of the said two parcels, in pursuance of the said Act, notified, published and stated, and caused to be notified, published and stated, in and by a notice affixed in legible characters in a public and conspicuous part of the said office where the said two parcels were delivered to them as in the declaration mentioned, that is to say in a public and conspicuous part of their office at Gerard's Hall, Basing Lane, in the City of London aforesaid, and at which said office parcels then were and still are received by them for the purpose of conveyance by their said van, and in which said notice there were then and there, in such legible characters as aforesaid, notified, published, stated, and set forth the increased rates of charge. required by th$m to be paid, over and above the ordinary rate of carriage, as a compensation for the greater risk, and care to be taken for the safe conveyance, of the articles in the said Act of Parliament and notice specified and mentioned, and which said notice was and is as follows, that is to say : " In pursuance of an Act of Parliament passed," &c., "entitled ' An Act for the more Effectual Protection of Mail Contractors, Stage Coach Proprietors, and other Common Carriers for Hire, against the Loss of or Injury to Parcels or Packages de-[648J-livered to them for Conveyance or Custody, the Value and Contents of which shall not be declared to them by the Owners thereof,' notice is hereby given that for any package or passenger's luggage containing gold or silver coin," &c. (various other articles were then specified), "jewellery, silks in a manufactured or unmanufactured state, and whether wrought up or not wrought up with other materials, furs, or lace, or any of them, to a greater amount in value than 101., the increased rates of charge over and above the common and ordinary rate of charge for carriage are as follows." (The increased charges, according to distance and value, were then stated,) And that plaintiff, before and at the time of the delivery of the said parcels to defendants as aforesaid, had notice of the premises; and the said increased rates of charge, so required to be paid by the said notice as aforesaid, were due and reasonable and proper rates of charges in that behalf; and defendants further say that, at the time of the delivery to them of the said two parcels to be carried for hire by the said public conveyance as aforesaid, and continually from thence until the loss in the declaration mentioned, there were contained in the said parcels certain articles and property of the description in the said Act of Parliament and notice mentioned, that is to say the said silk in the declaration mentioned, and no other article or property whatsoever; and that the value of the said articles and property contained in each of the said parcels respectively then and during all the time aforesaid far exceeded the said sum of 101., and were of a certain value, to wit 501. each parcel: and that, at the time of the delivery of the said parcels to defendants at the said office as aforesaid for the purpose [649] of being carried as aforesaid, the value or nature of the said articles and property so contained in the said parcels as aforesaid was not, nor was it at any other time whatsoever, declared by plaintiff, or by the person sending and delivering the same, to defendants or to the person receiving the said parcels on their behalf, nor was the said increased charge so mentioned and contained in the said notice as aforesaid, or any engagement to pay the same then or at any other time whatsoever offered or tendered to or accepted by defendants or the persons receiving, &o., or any other person, &c. on their behalf. Verification. Eeplication. That defendants did not use due diligence in and about the carrying and conveying the goods and chattels in the declaration mentioned to have been delivered to them for the purpose in the declaration mentioned, but, on the contrary thereof, plaintiff says that defendants, as such carriers aa aforesaid, were in and about the premises guilty of such gross and culpable negligence and wrongful and improper conduct that, by and through their gross and utter neglect, wilful default, and entire and absolute want of care and caution in the premises, and not otherwise, the said bale was lost as in the declaration mentioned. Verification. Rejoinder. And the defendants, &c. say that, at the time of the delivery to them of the said parcels, &c., defendants were the proprietors of the said public conveyance in which the same were to be carried and conveyed from, &c. to, &c., and the said parcels...

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    ...and gross negligence as merely one of degree. English lawyers have always had a healthy disrespect for the latter distinction. In Hinton v Dibbin (1842) 2 QB 646, Lord Denman CJ doubted whether any intelligible distinction exists; while in Grill v General Iron Screw Collier Co (1866) LR 1 ......
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    ...Bench held that those words were valid and effective to exempt the Carrier from liability for the negligence of his servants - see Hinton v. Dibbin (1842) 2 Q.B. 646. The view of the queen's Bench Judges prevailed. Since that time it has been always accepted that such a stipulation in a con......
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    ...and gross negligence as merely one of degree. English lawyers have always had a healthy disrespect for the latter distinction. In Hinton v Dibber (1842) 2 QB 646 Lord Denman doubted whether any intelligible distinction exists; while in Grill v General Iron Screw Collier Co. (1866), 35 LJCP......
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