Both to Blame Clause Law and Legal Definition

Both to blame clause forms part of some bills of lading and refers to who was at fault and responsible for payments if two vessels collided while one was carrying cargo pursuant to a bill of lading. Generally, when two vessels collide, they become liable to each other proportionately for the total damage. The vessel with the lesser damage may impose upon the cargo being carried to contribute to the amount to be paid to the other vessel. The “Both to Blame Clause” in the cargo policy provides that in such event, the cargo policy will cover such contribution. In other words, upon the collision of two or more ships, when all ships are at fault, all owners and shippers having monetary interests in the voyage of the ships involved must share in all losses in proportion to the monetary values of their interests prior to the occurrence of the collision. The Both to Blame Clause supersedes all other provisions for the allocation of losses among owners and shippers in ocean marine policies.