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Pacific Vegetable Oil Corp. v. C. S. T., Ltd.

Supreme Court of California

November 12, 1946

S. F. No. 17321


 [*229]  [**443]   Pacific Vegetable Oil Corporation moved in the superior court pursuant to sections 1288 and 1290 of the Code of Civil Procedure to vacate an arbitration award made against it and in favor of C. S. T., Ltd. The motion was denied and the moving party appealed from the order.

The controversy arose over the failure of C. S. T., Ltd. to deliver a cargo of copra to Pacific Vegetable Oil Corporation. The latter, herein referred to as buyer, entered into contracts with the former, referred to as seller, for the purchase of two shipments of copra to be loaded in the Fiji Islands and delivered at San Diego for transshipment to Mexico. The first contract was executed on October 30, 1941, for copra to  [*230]   [***2]  be loaded in the Fiji Islands on the S. S. Edna during November-December, 1941. That shipment was delivered to the buyer at San Francisco in the latter part of the following February. The second contract, dated November 8, 1941, called for a shipment of copra on the S. S. Edna (on her return from the previous voyage) during January-February, 1942. The quantity to be delivered was 2,200 long tons, at $ 79.50 U. S. currency per ton of 2,000 lbs. c.i.f. San Diego, payment to be made against a letter of credit established by the buyer in San Francisco.

The contracting parties were expressly subject to prevailing government regulations and to published rules of the Foreign Commerce Association of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. ] Rule 513 of the General Rules requires that any dispute arising under contract be submitted immediately to arbitration before a committee of the Foreign Commerce Association of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. ] Rule 557, relating specifically to copra, reads:

"Seller shall not be responsible to Buyer for delayed or non-shipment directly or indirectly resulting from a contingency beyond his control, such as embargo, act of government, strike, fire,  [***3]  flood, drought, hurricane, war, insurrection, riot, explosion, epidemic, pestilence, earthquake, accident, perils of the sea, tidal wave, or any other contingency beyond Seller's control not herein enumerated. If, due to any of the cause provided herein, shipment by steamer is not made within two months or by sailing vessel within three months after the contractual time for shipment, contract shall terminate with respect to any goods not then shipped."

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29 Cal. 2d 228 *; 174 P.2d 441 **; 1946 Cal. LEXIS 294 ***


Prior History:  [***1]  APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco refusing to vacate an award in arbitration. Robert L. McWilliams, Judge.

Disposition: Affirmed.


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