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84-7-301. Liability for nonreceipt or misdescription; "said to contain"; "shipper's weight, load and count"; improper handling. (a) A consignee of a nonnegotiable bill of lading which has given value in good faith, or a holder to which a negotiable bill has been duly negotiated, relying upon the description of the goods in the bill or upon the date shown in the bill, may recover from the issuer damages caused by the misdating of the bill or the nonreceipt or misdescription of the goods, except to the extent that the bill indicates that the issuer does not know whether any part or all of the goods in fact were received or conform to the description, such as in a case in which the description is in terms of marks or labels or kind, quantity, or condition or the receipt or description is qualified by "contents or condition of contents of packages unknown," "said to contain," "shipper's weight, load, and count," or words of similar import, if that indication is true.

(b) If goods are loaded by the issuer of a bill of lading:

(1) The issuer shall count the packages of goods if shipped in packages and ascertain the kind and quantity if shipped in bulk; and

(2) words such as "shipper's weight, load, and count," or words of similar import indicating that the description was made by the shipper are ineffective except as to goods concealed in packages.

(c) If bulk goods are loaded by a shipper that makes available to the issuer of a bill of lading adequate facilities for weighing those goods, the issuer shall ascertain the kind and quantity within a reasonable time after receiving the shipper's request in a record to do so. In that case, "shipper's weight" or words of similar import are ineffective.

(d) The issuer of a bill of lading, by including in the bill the words "shipper's weight, load, and count," or words of similar import, may indicate that the goods were loaded by the shipper, and, if that statement is true, the issuer is not liable for damages caused by the improper loading. However, omission of such words does not imply liability for damages caused by improper loading.

(e) A shipper guarantees to an issuer the accuracy at the time of shipment of the description, marks, labels, number, kind, quantity, condition, and weight, as furnished by the shipper, and the shipper shall indemnify the issuer against damage caused by inaccuracies in those particulars. This right of indemnity does not limit the issuer's responsibility or liability under the contract of carriage to any person other than the shipper.

History: L. 2007, ch. 90, § 17; July 1, 2008.


Part 3 of Article 7 applies only to bills of lading, which are defined in 84-1-201(6) as a receipt from a shipper for goods. The definition of documents of title includes bills of lading. 84-1-201(15). There is no counterpart to 84-7-202, which prescribes contents of a warehouse receipt, since standard forms for bills of lading have been prescribed by the Interstate Commerce Commission for interstate shipments. These forms may be used, and commonly are used, in intrastate shipments as well.

Subsection (1) of this section imposes liability on the issuer of a bill of lading for damages which have been caused by the misdating of the bill or the non-receipt or misdescription of the goods. The provision on misdating was induced by the decision in Browne v. Union Pac. R. Co., 113 K. 726, 216 P. 299 (1923), aff'd on other grounds 267 U.S. 255, 45 S. Ct. 315, 69 L.Ed. 601 (1925), holding that the date of the bill of lading is no part of the description of the goods shipped. The protection under this subsection extends only to the persons named, and not to their assignees. See G.A.C. Commercial Corp. v. Wilson, 271 F. Supp. 242 (S.D.N.Y. 1967). The carrier may protect itself where it does not have knowledge of the exact nature or weight of the goods by the disclaimers indicated in the subsection.

Subsections (2) and (3), however, limit the issuer's ability to disclaim knowledge under subsection (1). Subsection (2) obligates the issuer to determine the nature of the goods loaded by the issuer. Subsection (3) details some of the obligations of the issuer for bulk freight loaded by the shipper.

Subsection (4) permits the issuer to indicate the shipper is responsible and liable for improper loading when the loading was done by the shipper. The issuer is not bound if the bill fails to indicate the shipper loaded the goods. For an illustrative case, see Georgia Ports Authority v. Mitsubishi International Corp., 156 Ga. App. 304, 274 S.E.2d 699 (1980).

Subsection (5) allows indemnification of the issuer by the shipper if the shipper has furnished an inaccurate statement or report concerning the goods.

Revisor's Note:

Former section 84-7-301 repealed by L. 2007, ch. 90, § 78 and the number reassigned to the current text.

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