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The Monrosa v. Carbon Black Export, Inc., 359 U.S. 180 (1959)

The Monrosa v. Carbon Black Export, Inc.

No. 178

Argued March 3-4, 1959

Decided March 30, 1959

359 U.S. 180


Respondent, a Delaware corporation, brought a libel in admiralty in a Federal District Court in Texas for damage to a shipment of goods during an ocean voyage from Houston and New Orleans to various Italian ports. The libel was in rem against the ship, then in the port of Houston on another voyage, and in personam against its owner, an Italian corporation. After requiring a bond to secure whatever judgment might finally be rendered, the District Court declined jurisdiction on the ground that the parties had agreed by a provision in the bill of lading that controversies regarding cargo damage should be settled only in the courts of Genoa, Italy. The Court of Appeals reversed, finding the provision in the bill of lading inapplicable to libels in rem and declining to enforce its terms as to the libel in personam.


1. The bill of lading provision cannot be construed to include libels in rem, and, accordingly, the libel in rem was properly maintainable. Pp. 359 U. S. 182-183.

2. This case does not afford an appropriate instance to pass upon the extent to which effect can be given to such stipulations in ocean bills of lading not to resort to the courts of this country, and the writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted. Pp. 359 U. S. 183-184.

254 F.2d 297, writ of certiorari dismissed.

Page 359 U. S. 181

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