Eppes v. Tucker
Eppes v. Tucker, 8 Va. (4 Call) 346 (1790),  was maritime dispute where the court determined whether the owner of the shipper is entitled to damages when the master, before he reached his port of destination, strands the vessel to avoid capture by the enemy.
Eppes sued Tucker regarding a contract between them where Tucker would ship six hogsheads of tobacco to a port in Europe. According to the agreement, one half of the tobacco would be maintained by Tucker to cover freight and risk costs. However, the other half would be sold by the master of the ship for specific merchandise that Eppes requested. The ship enter South America and the master sold the tobacco. However, upon arriving in Virginia, Eppes did not receive any of the various goods he requested. Eppes asked the court obtain an account of the transaction and grant him general relief.
The Court's Decision
Chancellor Wythe adjourned the case, by consent of the parties, to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals decided that Tucker was responsible for the merchandise saved from the wreck. However, they exempted the crew for any loss or damage done to the ship while protecting the goods (during salvage).
- Daniel Call, Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Court of Appeals of Virginia, (Richmond: R. I. Smith, 1833), 4:346.