Carrier delivered goods despite a stoppage order from the seller

Supreme Court judgment 6 February 2019, HR-2019-231-A, (case no. 18-051892SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against judgment:

Genfoot Inc. (Counsel Tage Brigt Andreassen Skoghøy) v. SCHENKERocean Ltd (Counsel Hans Peder Bjerke)

Justices: Bull, Kallerud, Bergsjø, Høgetveit Berg, Sæbø

A carrier had delivered the goods to the buyer in Norway despite the Canadian seller's instruction that the delivery be stopped. The buyer's bankruptcy entailed a loss for the seller, that claimed damages from the carrier. The Supreme Court's majority of four justices found that the seller's right of stoppage applied, and that the carrier was liable for the loss. None of the carrier's contentions – that the goods were already paid for, that the buyer's economy was failing already before the carrier had received the goods, that the goods had been delivered to the buyer before the stoppage was instructed, that the buyer must be notified before the right of stoppage is exercised and that a bill of lading had been handed to the buyer – succeeded. The carrier had an obligation to comply with the seller's instruction to stop the delivery to the buyer. The company thus acted negligently by handing the goods to the buyer, which gave rise to liability. Dissenting votes 4-1.

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