San Hall And Co (A Firm) v Sun Wah Marine Products Co

CourtDistrict Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date29 Oct 1968
Judgement NumberDCCJ4195/1968
SubjectCivil Action
DCCJ004195/1968 SAN HALL AND CO (A FIRM) v. SUN WAH MARINE PRODUCTS CO

DCCJ004195/1968

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF HONG KONG

HOLDEN AT VICTORIA

CIVIL JURISDICTION

ACTION NO. 4195 OF 1968.

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BETWEEN
San Hall and Company (a firm) Plaintiff
AND
Sun Wah Marine Products Company otherwise known as Wah Kee Laan (a firm) Defendant

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Coram: D. Cons, D.J. in Court.

Date of Judgment: 29 October 1968

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JUDGMENT

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1. The defendant in this action is a firm whose business apparently includes the sale of frozen shrimps. To this end shrimps are purchased by them in large quantities from various shrimp laans and shrimp boats, prepared and frozen and then retained in cold storage against possible purchasers.

2. The business of the plaintiff apparently includes the purchase of frozen shrimps in Hong Kong for delivery to customers in Canada. In furtherance thereof on the 8th of March this year the plaintiff purchased from the defendant some 3,000 pounds of frozen and prepared shrimps at an express price of HK$6.10 per pound to be delivered f.o.b. Hong Kong. The contract (Exh. 1) provided for a particular ship on the 14th of March, but the shrimps were, by agreement between the parties, actually shipped one week later on the s.s. "Roseville". On the 18th of April, i.e. two days after their arrival in Vancouver, some 1,200 pounds of the shrimps, being all those of the size "26/30 counts", were inspected by the Vancouver Department of Fisheries, and as a result, ordered to be destroyed or removed from the Country within a certain time. This portion of the purchased goods was in fact shortly afterwards returned by sea to the defendant.

3. So much is agreed. The first area of dispute lies in the possibility that the shrimps had at sometime become defrosted. A decision as to this is essential for two reasons. Firstly, because if the defrosting occurred after the shrimps were placed on board the "Roseville", e.g. due to a failure in the refrigeration plant of that ship, it is a risk to be shouldered by the plaintiff; secondly, because it is nowadays common knowledge that vegetable matter, such as shrimps, immersed completely in ice will not deteriorate appreciably unless and until the ice is thawed. From this it follows that if the state of the shrimps can be established at any time during a continuously frozen period, which includes the time of delivery to the plaintiff, whether it be actually before or after that delivery, then that state must necessarily be the state in which the shrimps were in fact delivered. The last part of paragraph 2 of the Defence...

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