District Judge Robert W. Sweet

 

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Mapfre is Tecnomega C.A.’s subrogee. It alleged breaches of the Carriage of Goods at Sea Act (COGSA) and a bill of lading arising from the disappearance of 491 out of 989 computer pieces stowed in a shipping container aboard the M/V Loa from Florida to Ecuador. Defendant Compania Chilena De Navigacion Interoceanica S.A. (CCNI) contended that the shipping container was a single package. At issue was whether Mapfre’s recovery under COGSA was limited to the per package limitation of $500. The court granted CCNI partial summary judgment. Distinguishing Transatlantic Marine Claims Agency Inc. v. M/V Mason Lykes, it ruled that absent more evidence the bill of lading could not support Mapfre’s position that each of the 989 pieces of computer parts was a single package. The bill of lading did not indicate how the computer pieces were packaged. Even if the container were not a COGSA package and the computer pieces “goods not shipped in packages” the bill of lading would still dictate a finding for CCNI. The pre-paid $1080 ocean freight rate supported the position that the parties agreed to the shipment of a single COGSA package, and set the established freight rate unit as one single package. Thus, COGSA’ statutory $500 limit applied.

District Judge Robert W. Sweet

 

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Mapfre is Tecnomega C.A.’s subrogee. It alleged breaches of the Carriage of Goods at Sea Act (COGSA) and a bill of lading arising from the disappearance of 491 out of 989 computer pieces stowed in a shipping container aboard the M/V Loa from Florida to Ecuador. Defendant Compania Chilena De Navigacion Interoceanica S.A. (CCNI) contended that the shipping container was a single package. At issue was whether Mapfre’s recovery under COGSA was limited to the per package limitation of $500. The court granted CCNI partial summary judgment. Distinguishing Transatlantic Marine Claims Agency Inc. v. M/V Mason Lykes, it ruled that absent more evidence the bill of lading could not support Mapfre’s position that each of the 989 pieces of computer parts was a single package. The bill of lading did not indicate how the computer pieces were packaged. Even if the container were not a COGSA package and the computer pieces “goods not shipped in packages” the bill of lading would still dictate a finding for CCNI. The pre-paid $1080 ocean freight rate supported the position that the parties agreed to the shipment of a single COGSA package, and set the established freight rate unit as one single package. Thus, COGSA’ statutory $500 limit applied.