The parties may introduce into the terms of their contract a provision that the fulfillment of a condition, or the occurrence of an event, shall discharge them both from further liabilities under the contract. Such a condition subsequent is well illustrated by the case of a bond, which is a promise subject to, or defeasible upon, a condition expressed in the bond. Another illustration is in case of the excepted risks in a charter party. In a contract of that nature the shipowner agrees with the charterer to make the voyage on the terms expressed in the contract, the act of God, public enemies, fire, collision, and other dangers of the seas, etc., excepted. The occurrence of such an excepted risk releases the shipowner from the strict performance of the contract; and if it should take place while the contract is wholly executory, and frustrate the entire enterprise, the parties are altogether discharged.52 Another illustration of such conditions is found in contracts with common carriers. Bills of lading generally contain exceptions by which the liability of the carrier to deliver the goods is to cease if their loss or destruction is caused by certain perils.68 A common carrier is said to warrant or insure the safe delivery of goods intrusted to him, but his promise, even without express stipulation, is defeasible upon the occurrence of certain excepted risks, such as the act of God 54 and injuries arising from defects inherent in the thing carried.55 This limitation of liability is implied in every contract with a common carrier, and the occurrence of the risks exonerates him from liability for loss incurred through their agency.56
50 Beissel v. Vermillion Farmers' Elevator Co., 102 Minn. 229, 113 N. W. 575, 12 L. R. A. (N. S.) 403 and note; Mackenzie v. Minis, 132 Ga. 323, 63 S. E. 900, 23 L. It. A. (N. S.) 1003, 16 Ann. Cas. 723; Frary v. Rubber Co., 52 Minn. 264, 53 N. W. 1156, 18 L. R. A. 644; Koehler v. Buhl, 94 Mich. 496, 54 N. W. 157; Allen v. Compress Co., 101 Ala. 574, 14 South. 362; Magee v. Lumber Co., 78 Minn. 11, 80 N. W. 781; Gwynne v. Hitebner, 66 N. J. Law, 97, 48 Atl. 571; Id., 67 N. J. Law, 654, 52 Atl. 997; Kendall v. West, 196 111. 221, 63 N. E. 683, 89 Am. St. Rep. 317. And see Crawford v. Publishing Co., 163 N. Y. 404, 57 N. E. 616; post, p. 541 See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 282; Cent. Dig. §§ 1284-1289; "Master and Servant," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 21; Cent. Dig. §§ 20, 21.
51 South Texas Telephone Co. v. Huntington, 104 Tex. 350, 136 S. W. 1053, 138 S. W. 381. See "Contracts" Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 278; Cent. Dig. §§ 1233-1248.
52 Geipel v. Smith, L. R. 7 Q. B. 404; Graves v. The Calvin S. Edwards, 1 C. C. A. 533, 50 Fed. 477. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) §§ 226, 278; Cent. Dig. §§ 1033-1037, 1207-1213.