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In re Polemis & Furness, Withy & Co

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. [1921] 3 K.B. 560.

Brief Fact Summary. Furness chartered the Polemis to carry a cargo of petrol and benzene. While discharging at Casablanca, a heavy plank fell into the hold and caused an explosion, which eventually destroyed the ship. The falling of the blank was due to Defendant’s negligence.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. If the negligent act would or might probably cause damage, the fact that the damage it in facts causes is not the exact kind of damage one would expect is immaterial, so long as the damage is in fact directly traceable to the negligent act.


Facts. The Arbitrators found that a spark emanating from a dropped plank could not reasonably have been anticipated. However, some damage to the ship might reasonably be anticipated. Damages were found to be

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