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WHARFINGER. One who owns or keeps a wharf, for the purpose of receiving and
shipping merchandise to or from it, for hire.
2. Like a warehouseman, (q.v.) a wharfinger is responsible for ordinary neglect, and is therefore required to take ordinary, care of goods entrusted to him as such. The responsibility of a wharfinger begins when he acquires, and ends when he ceases to have the custody of the goods in that capacity.
3. When he begins and ceases to have such custody depends generally upon the usages of trade and of the business. When goods are delivered at a wharf, and the wharfinger has agreed, expressly or by implication, to take the custody of them, his responsibility commences; but a mere delivery at the wharf, without such assent, does not make him liable. 3 Campb. R. 414; 4 Campb. R. 72; 6 Cowen, R. 757. When goods are in the wharfinger's possession to be sent on board of a vessel for a voyage, as soon as he delivers the possession and the care of them to the proper officers of the vessel, although they are not actually removed, he is, by the usages of trade, deemed exonerated from any further responsibility. 5 Esp. R. 41; Story, Bailm. Sec. 453 Abbott on Ship. 226; Molloy, B. 2. 2, s. 2; Roccus, Not. 88; Dig. 9, 4, 3.