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
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
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
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
The New York City Council is considering a proposed Local Law
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)
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
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
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).
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
I propose that the Legislative, Executive, Judicial Branches of the federal government should cooperatively work toward the rebuilding of the presumption in favor of federal preemption with respect to all matters related to maritime commerce
A group of investors sued the Colombian government for preventing American salvage group Sea Search Armada from recovering San Jose, a ship that sank in 1708, often referred to as the “Holy Grail of Shipwrecks.” With numerous court rulings throughout the years
Survivors of the Costa Concordia grounding win a huge victory in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The District Judge ordered the claims of 104 survivors remanded to the Florida State Court for continued litigation.
The ITF has condemned as ‘utterly unbelievable’ a totally unexpected decision by a court in Morocco to jail trade union leaders Said Elhairech and Mohamed Chamchati. Elhairech the general secretary of the Moroccan Ports Union, part of the ITF-affiliated UMT
Not long after specialized tank ships were developed, enabling the carriage of large quantities of oil and petroleum products, groundings, collisions, and other casualties started causing significant oil spills. In those early days, there was no financial incentive to clean up such spills
LeBlanc Bland P.L.L.C. announces important Fifth Circuit Maritime Ruling: decision addresses enforceability of liquidated damages provision. An important Fifth Circuit decision in a dispute over the enforceability of a liquidated damages provision -- here
Petrobras files writ of mandamus against an injunction suspending Transocean's activities in waters offshore Brazil. (Mandamus is an extraordinary writ commanding an official to perform a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty and not a matter for the official's discretion
Here is a multiple choice question: which of the following contracts is considered to be a “maritime contract” under U.S. law? - (a) a shipbuilding contract - (b) a ship-sale contract
The recent dispute between Odyssey Marine Exploration and the Kingdom of Spain over the treasure and artifacts Odyssey recovered from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes has recently been given considerable coverage in the popular press as well as in the maritime press.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) express disappointment at Court's E15 fuel decision. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said it was “disappointed” by a US court of appeals decision to dismiss its lawsuit against the US Environmental Protection
An important decision affecting vicarious liability for Jones Act employers for the acts of their employees was issued August 14, 2012 by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision, an action against Hercules Drilling Company represented by LeBlanc Bland, P.L.L.C
A Texas appeals court affirms US$3.5-million judgement against Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. The court upheld a jury’s finding that the Korean company wrongfully refused to pay consultants who helped secure a $696 million contract to build supertankers.
Plymouth (UK) passengers take cruise ship company to court for compensation for storm injuries on North Atlantic cruise Holidaymakers who say they endured a nightmare voyage across the Atlantic when their cruise ship was lashed by high winds have taken their compensation claims to the High Court
The US Supreme Court voted not to review the Ninth Circuit Court’s opinion upholding the California ocean-going vessel fuel regulations The Court did not provide an explanation of why it decided not to take this particular case. No further legal action is being considered
LeClairRyan attorney successfully establishes before Federal Cout the right to challenge Government pre-procurement decisions A recent precedent-setting U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision will result in more opportunities for contractors to bid on federal government procurement projects