n Annual Survey of South African Law - The law of delict




[2007] 2 All SA 489 (SCA) concerned two containers of litchis shipped on board a carrier at Durban destined for the Middle East. The respondent was the shipper and exporter of perishable fruit while the appellant was the agent of the carrier who issued the bills of lading. On arrival at the ports of discharge, the litchis were found to have deteriorated as a result of a delay in the completion of the voyage. The respondent sued the appellant in delict. The claim was based upon the alleged negligent failure of the appellant to advise the respondent of a delay in the commencement of the voyage and a change in the proposed route of the carrier to the ports of discharge. The trial court found for the appellant but this decision was reversed on appeal to the full bench. The appellant then appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal.


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