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Court Decision

AWO Supports Federal Regulatory Authority

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) officially went on record in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the preemptive authority of federal statutes and regulations governing vessel operations. AWO is supporting the position of Intertanko and the U.S. in a challenge to a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court on the extent to which the State of Washington can regulate the operation of tank vessels. In a "friend of the court" brief filed with the Supreme Court, AWO asserted the Circuit Court's decision is a threat to the uniformity of federal and international standards vital to interstate transportation and, unless reversed, federal safety rules and regulations could be rendered inconsequential. The AWO brief argues the Ninth Circuit Court fundamentally misinterpreted the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ray v. Atlantic Richfield Co., in which the limits of state regulatory authority over federally regulated vessels were carefully defined. The brief further states the Circuit Court decision ignores the preemptive nature of acts of Congress, such as OPA 90 and the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, which grants the USCG the authority to prescribe regulations that preempt state or local law. The brief cites the example of a decision taken by Rhode Island to unilaterally require a phase-out of single-hull tank vessels in state waters fully 14 years before the time prescribed by Congress in OPA 90


Aker Philly Shipyard Build Methodologies Confirmed in Court Decision

In a decision filed by the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has upheld the United States Coast Guard interpretation of the Jones Act as it relates to the modern building methods employed by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. The decision rejected a lawsuit filed by the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.  Aker Philadelphia Shipyard President and CEO, Jim Miller remarked “We wish to reiterate that Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is extremely proud to


Carriers Ponder Dutch Ruling in CMR Dispute

Netherlands law firm AKD Prinsen Van Wijmen says a recent decision of the Dutch Supreme Court indicates that, whilst Holland remains an extremely carrier-friendly jurisdiction for disputes under the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR), a much stricter approach is to be adopted to the Act of God exemption from liability for loss and damage under CMR. In its April 24 decision in Philips Electronics NV v Vos Logistics


Salazar Statement on Leasing Court Ruling

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling on DOI’s request for clarification of the Court’s earlier decision to vacate the 2007-2012 Outer Continental Shelf oil and natural gas leasing program:  “I am pleased with the Court’s decision.  Consistent with the Department’s request


NYC Considers Local Law on Passenger Vessels

The New York City Council is considering a proposed Local Law


INTERTANKO to Intervene in Ballast Water Decision

A U.S. Federal judge in the Northern California District has granted INTERTANKO's Motion to Intervene on the court's decision that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) exemption of ballast water discharges from the permit requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) was improper under the Clean Water Act. INTERTANKO filed this motion along with industry coalition partners the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA)


Raising a Red Flag?

A Review of Recent Developments with the Americans with Disabilities Act's Requirements for U.S. and Foreign Flag Passenger-Vessels By James P. Nader & Rudolph F. Lehrer Douglas Spector and Tammy Stevens presumably do not know each other, but they have a lot in common. Approximately five years ago, both Spector and Stevens boarded cruise ships out of major ports in the southern United States. Both Spector and Stevens, who are wheel-chair bound


Maine BEP Endorses Tank Barge Regulations

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) approved proposed Chapter 600 vessel operating regulations by a vote of five to one, with one abstention. Chapter 600 regulations address the operation of both oil terminal facilities and vessels transporting oil on state waterways. The regulations will be forwarded to the Attorney General for review and compliance with the state's Administrative Procedures Act. If the Attorney General approves the regulations


Engineer in Dredge is Jones Act Seaman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that an engineer employed on a dredge in navigation is a seaman for purposes of the Jones Act. This decision was rendered when the court’s earlier decision was reversed and remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court. Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company, Inc., No. 99-1487 (1st Cir., August 9, 2005).


Judicial Decision on M/V Mokihana Rebuild

On December 4, 2009, a federal district court in Va. entered judgment in favor of the U.S. Coast Guard and Matson Navigation Company, Inc. in a long-running vessel foreign rebuild case.  Winston & Strawn LLP represented Matson. The Shipbuilders Council of America, Inc. and Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines LLC sued the Coast Guard initially in November 2006 seeking to disqualify the M/V Mokihana from the U.S. coastwise trade because of work to be done to the vessel in China


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


Turkey: Iraqi Kurdistan Exports Continue

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Monday 6.5 million barrels of Iraqi Kurdish crude oil had been shipped to world markets via Turkey's Ceyhan port since exports began and that a seventh tanker was being loaded at the terminal. Yildiz said crude flow on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline had


Orica Fined Heavily for Australian Pollution Incidents

Oil pollution: File photo

Orica Australia Pty Ltd has been convicted and penalised $768,250 in relation to charges brought by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) for pollution incidents at Orica’s Kooragang Island and Botany plants. This includes a fine of $211


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


OSX Brasil Suspends Creditor Payments

Photo courtesy of OSX

A Netherlands-based subsidiary of Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista's bankrupt shipbuilding and shipleasing unit OSX Brasil SA suspended payments to creditors after being granted protection by a Dutch court. According to a securities filing on Thursday


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


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


Emotions Run High in Court as Korea Ferry Crew Face Trial

Captain caught abandoning boat in his underwear as children stayed in cabins; "Imagine the children were yours," mourning families tell crew. Fifteen crew of a South Korean ferry that sank in April killing more than 300 people, most of them children


BP Tries Again to Sidestep GoM Spill Payments

File image

BP Plc has asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to allow the company to avoid making payments to businesses demanding compensation for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill while litigation continues. The company acted after the New Orleans-based 5th U.S


Appeals Court Not to Revisit BP Oil Spill Compensation Decision

File image

A U.S. appeals court will not revisit a decision to reject BP Plc's bid to block businesses from recovering money over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even if those businesses could not trace their economic losses to the disaster. The 5th U.S


Sewol Crew Gets Little in Legal Resources

MOKPO, South Korea, May 20 (Reuters) - South Korea's legal system appears to be failing 15 surviving crew of a ferry that sank last month, killing hundreds of children, with their being tried and convicted by an angry public before the case has even come to court.


Conditional Settlement of Leighton Class Action

Leighton Holdings

Leighton Holdings Limited announces that it has entered into a conditional agreement to settle the shareholder class action brought against it in relation to the 11 April 2011 disclosure of a revision of its profit forecast for the 2011 Financial Year.  


To Litigate, or Arbitrate? That is the Question

More than once, I have been asked to resolve a dispute in which my client was surprised to learn either that it could not force the other side into arbitration, or that arbitration was very different from its expectations.  Many companies devote hours (if not weeks and months) to


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


Chevron Wins A Round In U.S. Suit - Ecuador Case

Chevron

  A federal judge on Friday rejected a bid by a U.S. lawyer to stall the enforcement of a ruling that found he used fraud to secure a $9.5 billion pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador. Lawyer Steven Donziger is appealing a 500-page decision issued by U






 
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