CASE BRIEF

MOGUL STEAMSHIP CO. v McGREGOR, GOW & CO (1892) A.C. 25

From: Anirudh Arora BA LLB(H), 1st Year Jamia Milia Islamia

and that agents of members would be prohibited from dealing with anyone in the association if they did not deal exclusively with people in the association. or at least not a calculable or admissible damage. It is a Latin term literally meaning condemnation without injury. Issue . Principle Damnum Sine Inuria.C. to give a 5% rebate on freights to all shippers of stock who dealt only with members. When it sent ships to the loading port to pick up cargo. Simply translated.B. the term would mean “injury with no damages.D. 25. Facts A group of ship owners formed an association to raise their profits. Mogul Steamship Co Ltd had been excluded. 23 Q. The association agreed to limit the number of ships sent by the association to different ports. they would have to give notice. If any member wished to withdraw. 598 (1889). affirmed [1892] A.Citation. A finding of damnum sine injuria can be the basis for a finding of nominal damages. the association sent more ships and underbid Mogul Steamship Co Ltd. The association also threatened to dismiss agents or withdraw rebates from anyone who dealt with Mogul Steamship Co Ltd.” Damnum sine injuria refers to a legal situation in which plaintiff’s right is not respected by another but where the breach of plaintiff’s right does not cause damage. Mogul Steamship Co Ltd alleged there was a conspiracy to injure its economic interests and sued for compensation.

and which .if unattended by circumstances of dishonesty. intimidation. it was not illegal. or such illegalities. To say that a man is to trade freely. Because no unlawful means had been employed.gives rise to no cause of action. The court reasoned that the self-interest of promoting one's own business was not unlawful. damage another in that other person’s property or trade. and which does. But in order to see whether they were wrongful depends whether or not they were done without just cause of excuse. The acts of Defendants. which are complained of here. * Defendants have done nothing more against Plaintiffs than pursue to the bitter end a war o competition waged in the interest of their own trade. is actionable if done without just cause or excuse. The competition in this case was not fraudulent. Although it was designed necessarily to damage the plaintiff's business. "Competition.. were intentional and were also calculated to do Plaintiffs damage in their trade.Is there a cause of action for unfair competition when that competition complained of consists of a price confederation that wants to control shipping of goods by lowering prices? Judgement No. There is no authority for the doctrine that such a commercial motive deprives of “just cause or excuse” acts done in the course of trade which would but for such a motive be justifiable. but that he is to stop at any act which is calculated to harm other tradesmen. in fact. held that the acts were done with a lawful object of protecting and increasing the associations profits. however severe. affirming the Court of Appeal's decision. molestation.." The House of Lords. Neither was banding together to dominate the market.. Intentionally to do that which is calculated in the ordinary course of events to damage. Mogul Steamship Co Ltd had no cause of action..

is designed to attract business to his own shop. Case Brief In this case. or such illegalities gives rise to no cause of action at common law. Other Examples • • • • Ushaben v Bhagyalaxmi Chitra Mandir Chesmore v Richards Gloucester Grammar School Case Bhim Singh v State of J & K . molestation. a number of steamship companies combined together and drove the plaintiff company out of the tea-carrying trade by offering reduced freight. if unattended by circumstances of dishonesty. Competition. would be a strange and impossible counsel of perfection. however severe and egotistical. intimidation. The House of Lords held that the plaintiff had no cause of action as the defendants had by lawful means acted to protect and extend their trade and increase their profits.

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