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AVERAGE. A term used in commerce to signify a contribution made by the
owners of the ship, freight and goods, on board, in proportion to their
respective interests, towards any particular loss or expense sustained for
the general safety of the ship and cargo; to the end that the particular
loser may not be a greater sufferer than the owner of the ship and the other
owners of goods on board. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 7; Code de Com. art.
397; 2 Hov. Supp. to Ves. jr. 407; Poth. Aver. art. Prel.
2. Average is called general or gross average, because it falls generally upon the whole or gross amount of the ship, freight and cargo; and also to distinguish it from what is often though improperly termed particular average, but which in truth means a particular or partial, and not a general loss; or has no affinity to average properly so called. Besides these there are other small charges, called petty or accustomed averages; such as pilotage, towage, light-money, beaconage, anchorage, bridge toll, quarantine, river charges, signals, instructions, castle money, pier money, digging the ship out of the ice, and the like.
3. A contribution upon general average can only be claimed in cases where, upon as much deliberate on and consultation between the captain and his officers as the occasion will admit of, it appears that the sacrifice at the time it was made, was absolutely and indispensably necessary for the preservation of the ship and cargo. To entitle the owner of the goods to an average contribution, the loss must evidently conduce to the preservation of the ship and the rest of the cargo; and it must appear that the ship and the rest of the cargo were in fact saved. Show. Ca. Parl. 20. See generally Code de Com. tit. 11 and 12; Park, Ins. c. 6; Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 7 4 Mass. 548; 6 Mass. 125; 8 Mass. 467; 1 Caines' R. 196; 4 Dall. 459; 2 Binn. 547 4 Binn. 513; 2 Serg. & Rawle, 237, in note; 2 Serg. & Rawle, 229 3 Johns. Cas. 178; 1 Caines' R. 43; 2 Caines' R. 263; Id. 274; 8 Johns. R. 237, 2d edit 9 Johns. R. 9; 11 Johns. R 315 1 Caines' R. 573; 7 Johns R. 412; Wesk. Ins. tit. Average; 2 Barn. & Crest. 811 1 Rob. Adlm. Rep. 293; 2 New Rep. 378 18 Ves. 187; Lex. Mer. Armer. ch. 9; Bac Abr. Merchant, F; Vin. Abr. Contribution and' Average; Stev. on Av.; Ben. on Av.