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Appeals Court

Appeals Court OKs Navy Use of Sonar

A federal appeals court on Friday said the U.S. Navy could use high-power sonar during exercises off the Southern California coast despite the technology's threat to whales and other marine mammals. A majority on a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the Navy can use the high-power sonar in 11 planned training exercises in its reversal of a lower-court order banning the practice. Source: AP


Appeals Court Refuses to Close Chicago Locks To Deter Carp

On August 24, 2011, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit refused to issue a preliminary injunction to force the closure of locks on the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS).     The case stems from the controversy as to how best to prevent invasive Asian Carp from moving up the Mississippi/Illinois waterway system into Lake Michigan.  The state of Michigan and others sued the U.S


Court Strikes New Balance for Navy, Whales

The U.S. Navy can go ahead with training exercises this month using sonar off the California coast but should afterward implement new guidelines to protect whales, a U.S. appeals court said, according to a Reuters report. For years, U.S. courts have weighed the rights of whales to live undisturbed versus U.S. national security needs. The order of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the latest effort to strike the right balance.


Portsmouth To Fight LNG

The Portsmouth Town Council has voted to allocate up to $25,000 for legal expenses to help fight a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in nearby Fall River, Mass., the third Rhode Island community to promise money to oppose the project, according to a report on www.turnto10.com. The $250 million Weaver's Cove Energy project was approved on June 30 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The FERC at that time rejected a proposal by KeySpan LNG to expand an LNG facility in


U.S. Supreme Court Declines Exxon Mobil Appeal

us supreme court.gif

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a ruling against Exxon Mobil Corp that ordered the company to pay $105 million in damages for polluting New York City's groundwater with a toxic gasoline additive. The decision not to hear the case leaves intact a July 2 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the judgment. In 2009, a jury concluded that Exxon contaminated water supply wells when the additive, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE)


US Top Court Upholds Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Victory for Barack Obama

The U.S. Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama a victory on Tuesday by upholding a federal environmental regulation requiring some states to limit pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states. By a 6-2 vote, the court said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acted reasonably in requiring 28 states to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which can lead to soot and smog.


Canada: No Liability for Extended Detention

The Federal Court of Appeals (FCA) of Canada ruled that the government is not liable for the extended detention of a ship based on an allegedly negligent port state control (PSC) inspection. In the instant case, a Canadian PSC boarding officer determined after a somewhat cursory inspection that certain frames on the foreign ship were excessively wasted and must be replaced before the ship could depart port. The trial court determined that the detention was not in accordance with


Ship Owner May Sue Injured Seaman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a ship owner may assert a negligence and indemnity claim against its seaman-employee for property damage allegedly caused by the seaman’s negligence. In the instant case, plaintiff mate was injured when his ship collided with another ship. Plaintiff was on watch and in command of the ship at the time and allegedly left the wheelhouse in congested waters to attend to personal business


Divided Damages Following Collision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the equal division of damages in a collision case where both vessels were at fault. In the instant case, an inbound tanker collided with an outbound dredge in the Houston Ship Channel. The trial court found both vessels to have been at fault and divided the damages equally. The tanker owner appealed, asserting that the primary cause of the collision was the steering failure on the dredge as the two vessels were about to pass


Reduction of attorney’s fee contract to protect seaman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a court sitting in admiralty has inherent authority to alter a contingent fee contract for legal services entered into by an uncounseled seaman. In the instant case, plaintiff foreign seaman retained an attorney to represent him in a personal injury suit against the owner of a ship on which he was injured. The contingent fee contract called for recovery (assuming success in the litigation) by the attorney of all expenses and


French Ferry Firm Loses State Aid Appeal

Photo: SNCM

Cash-strapped ferry operator SNCM looks set to seek legal protection from its creditors after Europe's highest court ruled on Thursday it must pay back 220 million euros ($289 million) of French state aid. SNCM, owned 66 percent by transport group Transdev


BP Says US Court Yet to Determine Penalty

Photo: BP

Oil major BP said on Thursday it will appeal a U.S. court decision that found it grossly negligent with respect to the Gulf of Mexico 2010 oil spill and added the court will hold additional proceedings due to begin next January. BP said it will immediately appeal to the United States Court of


BP 'Grossly Negligent' in 2010 US Spill, Fines Could Be $18b

Discoverer Inspiration arrives to install the capping stack in July 2010 (Photo: BP)

A U.S. judge has decided that BP Plc was "grossly negligent" and "reckless" in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill four years ago, a ruling that could add nearly $18 billion in fines to more than $42 billion in charges the company took for the worst offshore environmental disaster in U


Transocean Steers Clear of BP Punitive Damages

Deepwater Horizo Photo USCG

Transocean Ltd. informs it has received a decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on phase one of litigation related to the April 20, 2010 Macondo well incident involving the Deepwater Horizon.  Key findings in the Court's decision with respect to


Spain Gives Go-ahead to Canary Islands Drilling

Spain's Supreme Court approved on Tuesday a $7-billion oil exploration project off the Canary Islands, clearing one of the final hurdles for oil company Repsol to begin drilling within months. In 2012, Spain's government granted permits for hydrocarbon exploration off the coasts of the


Philippine Legal 'Garnishment' Heightens Shipowner Concerns

Safety at work: File photo

'Garnishment' is the legal term relating to the collection of a monetary judgement on behalf of a claimant from a defendant. In the Philippines, this routinely occurs before the case has concluded and is central to the UK P&I Club Members' many concerns relating to crew claims in this


Israeli gov't appeals court ruling on Zim in feud over debt deal

Israel's Finance Ministry said on Monday it appealed a court ruling that chipped away at its golden share in the country's biggest shipping company Zim, a move that could further delay a $3 billion debt restructuring plan. An Israeli court ruled last week the government could keep its golden


Tesoro Refining Wins 2011 Long Beach Oil Spill Case

Robert S. Crowder: Photo FF&S

Freeman Freeman & Smiley say that its lead trial attorney  Robert S. Crowder (assisted by attorneys Russell R. Fisk and John D. Van Ackeren) have celebrated a win with their client, Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC in a lawsuit filed by Plaintiffs North of England Protecting


Iran Oil Tanker Firm Still Faces Sanctions

Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC will struggle for some time to call at European ports, get foreign insurance and overcome obstacles under western sanctions, even after a top court has annulled its blacklisted status in the European Union.


Zim Line Debt Restructuring Plan to Proceed

Zim container ship in terminal: Photo Zim Line

Israel's Finance Ministry and Israel Corp have reached a compromise regarding the government's "golden share" in the country's biggest shipping company Zim, paving the way for a $3 billion debt restructuring plan to move ahead. The government last week appealed an Israeli court ruling


Repsol Could Drill off Canary Islands in October

Spanish oil company Repsol could begin prospecting for its $7-billion oil exploration project off the Canary Islands in October, Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said on Tuesday. Spain's Supreme Court last month rejected environmental appeals against 2012 government permits granted for oil


Baghdad Seeks to Have Kurdish Oil Dispute Settled in Iraq

  Baghdad wants to settle a high-stakes dispute over $100 million worth of Kurdish crude oil in Iraq's  courts, although the oil is sitting in a tanker off the coast of Texas, a U.s. court filing  said on Friday. Iraq's central government has also asked Iraq's Federal Supreme


Chilean Court Rejects Appeal Against Crow River Project

Chile's Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an application for an environmental organization against Crow River hydroelectric project, which plans to build in the south of the country with an initial investment of $ 733 million . In a unanimous ruling


China Appeals WTO Ruling on US Solar Panel Dispute

China has appealed against a WTO dispute panel report on anti-dumping duties applied on certain Chinese products by the United States, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday. The appeal covers products including solar panels, wind towers, thermal and coated paper


Halliburton to Settle US Gulf Spill Claims for $1.1b

Credit:  Office of the Governor of the State of Louisiana

Halliburton Co said it reached a $1.1 billion settlement for a majority of claims against the company for its role in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The settlement, which includes legal fees, is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana






 
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