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Court Ruling

FMC Upheld on Claim of Unreasonably Refusing to Deal or Negotiate

In an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a petition for review sought by a stevedoring company of a decision of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). In a matter before the agency, the FMC had ruled that a marine terminal operator had not unreasonably refused to deal or negotiate with the stevedoring company. In its decision, the court ruled that the FMC decision was supported by substantial evidence and was consistent with past precedent. Source: HK Law


Maritrans' Claim for Damages from OPA 90 Denied

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled on December 21, 2001 that the double hull requirement of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ("OPA") does not constitute a "taking" of Maritrans' petroleum barges. Maritrans is currently evaluating whether to take an appeal. OPA prohibits existing single-hull tank vessels from continuing operation through their useful life, mandating a phase-out schedule over a period of years. In 1996


Lawsuit Aimed at Stopping Casino Boat

Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth filed a complaint in Volusia Circuit Court, seeking to force SunCruz Casinos to get rid of the slot machines and other casino games on one of its cruise-to-nowhere boats, which docks in Ponce Inlet. The refusal by the U.S. Supreme Court to tamper with a lower court ruling that federal law does not prevent states from deciding their existing laws prohibiting land-based casino gaming also apply to cruise-to-nowhere operations may have been the motivation


Negligent Homicide with Yacht Leads to Loss of Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that, where the owner of a yacht was convicted of negligent homicide in connection with a fatal collision, the insurance company is not obligated to defend under a policy excluding losses “criminally caused or incurred” by the insured. In the instant case, plaintiff was operating his yacht when it collided with another boat, killing one of the passengers of the boat


U.S. Supreme Court Reject Exxon Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on an appeal by Exxon Mobil Corp. over the $5 billion punitive damages verdict against it for the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident, the nation's worst oil spill. The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court ruling that the award against the oil giant in a civil lawsuit brought by Alaskan fishermen and other plaintiffs should not be set aside because of irregularities during jury deliberations.


Federal Court Delivers Ruling On Bayport

The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) welcomed U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore's ruling on the motions for summary judgment that had been filed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PHA, and the opponents of PHA's Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal project. The court ruling grants the Corps' and PHA's motions and denies the opponents' motion, thereby dismissing the challenge to the Bayport permit. According to the court's ruling


Bankruptcy Trumps Admiralty

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a bankruptcy court may extinguish maritime liens on vessels where the lienors are before the court, even though the ships are not within the jurisdiction of the court. A shipowner filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Defendant financial institutions, which held preferred ship mortgages, succeeded in getting the court to convert the action into an involuntary bankruptcy under Chapter 7


Dredge is a Vessel for Purposes of LHWCA

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a dredge not currently in navigation is still a vessel for purposes of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). In the instant case, a marine engineer was injured while performing repairs on a scow tied up to a dredge. The dredge was capable of only limited movement on its own, dragging itself along using anchors and cables. Otherwise, it had to be towed. The lower court held that


Ruling on Border Inspections

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Executive Branch has plenary authority to conduct suspicionless inspections at the border. In the instant case, Customs officials removed and disassembled the gas tank from a car entering the United States from Mexico at a land border crossing. Marijuana was found in the gas tank and criminal charges were brought against the driver. Defendant argued that the evidence should be suppressed because the search was highly intrusive and was not based on


The Townsend Decision: Should Vessel Owners Deny Maintenance and Cure?

Lawrence R. DeMarcay, III is a partner at Fowler Rodriguez Valdes-Fauli in the firm’s New Orleans, La. office. He can be reached at ldemarcay@frvf-law.com or 504-595-5122.

Unfortunately, as a vessel owner or operator, you have probably been faced with a situation where one of your crew members have allegedly become sick or injured while in the service of the vessel.  As you are aware, once this injury or illness is reported to the company, the duties of providing maintenance and cure under the Jones Act begin. Unfortunately, instances of fraud where the employee may not have suffered the injury or illness that he or she is complaining of seem to be common


World Court to Draw up Nicaragua-Colombia Maritime Boundary

The International Court of Justice on Thursday said it would consider a claim by Nicaragua to expand its maritime boundaries in a mineral-rich part of the Caribbean Sea toward Colombia, a ruling set to further strain relations between the two countries.


China: No Need to "gesticulate" over South China Sea

China's Defence Ministry denounced as gesticulation on Thursday speculation it would declare an air defence zone over the disputed South China Sea, after the United States said it had told China it would not recognise one. U.S. officials have expressed concern that an international court ruling


China Angered by Britain's Comments on South China Sea

China expressed anger on Wednesday after a senior British official said a ruling expected within a few months in an international arbitration case the Philippines has brought against China's South China Sea claims must be binding.   Hugo Swire


US Urges ASEAN Unity on South China Sea Ruling

Photo: Permanent Court of Arbitration

China risks "terrible" damage to its reputation if it ignores an impending international court ruling on the South China Sea, the United States said on Thursday, while urging Southeast Asian countries to rally behind the court decision.  


Bharati Shipyard Turns Sick, Files with BIFR

Pic: Bharati Shipyard Ltd

 Debt-laden Bharati Shipyard Ltd on Tuesday said it has filed a reference with the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), since it has become a sick company after eroding its entire net worth.   "The Company's Net Worth as on March 31


Maritime Tribunal Rejects Plea to Free Italy's Marines

An international maritime tribunal on Monday rejected Italy's request that India provisionally release two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen, a setback for the Italian government after a three-year legal battle. However the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg


Where Arbitration Began: Maritime Arbitration in New York

In March 1656, Andrew Kilvert brought suit against Jan Geraerdy in the Court of Burgemeesters of the colony of New Netherland, demanding the release of his vessel, which had been arrested to obtain payment for the sale price of Kilvert’s ship


Iraqi Kurds Reassert Right to Export Oil to US Despite Court Ruling

Kurdistan reasserted its right to export oil independently to the United States and other countries on Tuesday despite a court ruling in favour of the Iraqi federal government, which has sought to block crude sales from the autonomous region.  


World Court Hears Boliva-Chile Dispute Over Sea Access

The International Court of Justice said on Thursday it will continue to hear a case brought by Bolivia against Chile seeking to force its neighbour to enter negotiations to grant Bolivia unfettered access to the Pacific Ocean. Chile had asked the court, also known as the World Court


AWO Calls on Congress for Vessel Discharges Bill

A federal appeals court ruling handed down this week underscores the urgent need for Congress to pass the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) and establish a uniform federal framework for the regulation of ballast water and other vessel discharges


Philippines Takes South China Sea Claim to Hague

Could bolster claims by other countries against China; China boycotting proceedings, rejects court's authority. The Philippines asked global judges on Tuesday to recognise its right to exploit waters in the South China Sea, a case that could bolster territorial claims by other countries against


The Latest on Ballast Water Mismanagement

Dennis Bryant

On October 5, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a 65-page decision holding that, for the most part, the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was arbitrary, capricious and not in accordance with the law


EU Court Strikes Down Spanish Ship Finance Scheme

Court says scheme does not give firms selective advantage; EU regulators cracking down on unfair tax systems. Europe's second-highest court gave clearance on Thursday to a Spanish tax lease scheme in the shipbuilding industry, annulling a decision by EU regulators two years ago that this gave a


EU to Fight Spanish Ship Finance Scheme

Regulators cracking down on national schemes which benefit some; more legal battles ahead with Luxembourg, Dutch tax appeals. EU state aid regulators are looking to Europe's top court to back their decision against a Spanish tax lease scheme for shipbuilders


World Court Allows Nicaragua-Colombia Maritime Mineral Rights Case

The International Court of Justice ruled on Thursday that it had jurisdiction over a maritime dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua concerning the legal boundaries of potentially oil-rich areas of the Caribbean Sea.   Judges at the United Nations' highest court in The Hague ruled that






 
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