A case in which the Court of Appeal which featured the doyen of shipping lawyers Scrutton L.J.

The owners ofg a ship had caused it to be scuttled. They claimed on their insurance policy saying that the ship had been lost due to the perils of the sea. The Court of Appeal did not agree. Our interest in this case arises from the fact that it addresses question of proof in causation cases.

Scrutton L.J.said, at p. 657, of the burden of proof,

…in my present view, if there are circumstances suggesting that another cause than a peril insured against was the dominant or effective cause of the entry of sea water into the ship … and an examination of all the evidence leaves the Court doubtful what is the real cause of the loss, the assured has failed to prove his case.

These words were approved in Rhesa Shipping Co v Edmunds, The Popi M, [1985] 1 WLR 948 [HL]– see separate post.