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Exemption Clause

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This is a contractual problem, I don't know whether this message is posted under a correct topic, if not, sorry for the inconvenience...

I have entered into a contact with a carrier company to transport my goods from one place (A) to another (B). The contract contained the following clauses which I think are relevant:

1. Agreement between X (me) and Y (the carrier company) for the transport of goods from A to B.

2. The liability of Y with respect to transport to place of destination is limited to the resupply of service.

3. Y shall not be liable for loss or damage to the goods unless such loss or damage occurs whilst the goods are in the actual custody of Y and under its actualy control unless the damage arises from the negligence of Y.

4. Y shall not under any circumstances be liable for loss and damage resulting from fire, water, explosion or theft whenever caused by negligence of Y or otherwise.

5. Whenever Y is instructed to undertake transport and storage, it shall be authorised to entrust the goods as principal to third parties for storage subject to the latter's contractual conditions.

6. In the event of entrusting as referred to in clause 5, the customer [X], shall be bound by such conditions and shall indemnify the company against any claims arising out of their acceptance.

The goods were then entrusted to a storage company (Z) and there was an exemption clause within the contract between Y and Z:

1. Z will be held harmless from and will be indemnified by [Y] against all claims and demands and all costs and expenses resulting from loss, destruction, deterioration, misdelivery, delayed delivery, or non delivery of or damage to the goods no matter how caused whether or not resulting from negligence and whether or not the same occurs in the performance of the contract or in circumstances which are in the comtemplation of, or are forseeable by Z and/or [Y] and, further, whether or not in circumstances which would constitute a breach of contract.

Instead of delivering to the intended destination (B), the goods were unloaded mistakenly at C. The reason for this misdelivery was that by the time the goods were taken out of storage, Y's trucks were busy and so it hired an independent contractor to take the goods. That independent contractor had erroneously unloaded at C. Further, by the time the goods were at C, most of them were damaged by water.

In response to this, Y said what they would do was to delivery the goods from C to B.

Later, I also discovered that a small amount of goods was damaged by fire during the storage at the warehouse of Z. The fire was caused by the negligence of one of Z's staff.

I wish to know whether Y & Z have owned any contractual liability to me and whether they could rely on the exemption clauses to exclude all of their liabilities.


Senior Member
My response:

Of course, a lawsuit against Z and/or Y would depend upon certain factors, such as value of the property being shipped, it's importance due to timeliness, whether reshipping a similar product is viable, cost effective, and whether inability of you to deliver the product results in a breach of your contract with the end user, etc., etc. So, only you can really answer your own question.

However, the insurance you paid for, to cover you for any losses during the shipping process of this most important and valuable product being shipped, should cover your damages - - which is why you purchased the insurance in the first place. Make your claim to the insurance company.


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