Edison

The aim of damages in tort is to put the injured party back into the position as if the tort had not occurred. Also considered has been the issue of remoteness of damage (The Wagon Mound (No. 1) (1961)) i.e. that the damages which the defendant must pay should not be too remote from the wrong he has committed. In negligence the measure of damages comes from the case of The Wagon Mound (No. 1) (1961) whereby the plaintiff is entitled to claim for all damage which is reasonably foreseeable from that act of negligence. It is now necessary to consider these issues in respect of when: The ship is lost. The ship is damaged but not lost. The injured party must not be placed in a better position than he was and so, if his ship is totally lost as a result of the collision, he cannot expect so much money by way of compensation as would enable him to buy a new ship. Rather the correct measure of damages in this ‘total loss’ situation would be the market value of the ship at the time of casualty. This may, however, be difficult to assess and the other basis for calculation of a fair measure of damages would be the value of that ship to its owner as a ‘going concern’. If the vessel has no market value, then the only alternative yardstick to estimate her value is her original cost, less proportionate depreciation. A ship lost through another’s wrongdoing act might have a special value to her owners. In the Liesbosch Dredger v SS Edison (1933) the Liesbosch was lost after having been dragged from where she was moored in Patras harbour into the open sea. This happened by reason of the negligence of the vessel Edison. At the time, Liesbosch was performing harbour dredging work under a contract which provided for severe penalties for delay. The lost dredger could have been replaced by a newly purchased one, but her owners were not in a sufficiently good financial situation to do so immediately.