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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In an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a petition for review sought by a stevedoring company of a decision of the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


EU to Reimpose Sanctions on Iranian Tanker Firm

European Union governments are expected to agree later on Thursday to put the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) back on a list of sanctioned firms, EU diplomats said. The EU's second-highest court ruled last July there were no grounds to blacklist the NITC after the company contested the


Iranian Oil Tanker Blacklisted by EU

Image: National Iranian Tanker Company

 During a meeting in Brussels on Thursday 12 February, members of European Union decided to sanction again the Iranian Oil Tanker Company which is transporting oil around the globe.  The EU's second-highest court ruled last July there were no grounds to blacklist the National Iranian


BP Denied $700M in Insurance from Gulf Spill

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that BP Plc cannot claim about $700 million in insurance that was carried by offshore driller Transocean Ltd to cover the blowout of BP's Macondo well in 2010, the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history.


Court: BP Employees Can't Be Charged Under Seaman's Manslaughter Law

   The 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard)

  A federal court ruled on Wednesday that BP well site leaders on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig cannot be charged with seaman's manslaughter in the deaths of eleven workers that died during the 2010 rig explosion because they were not seamen.  


India's Coal Imports Causing Port Congestion

Congestion at Paradip expected to ease in a week if rains stop; higher-than-usual congestion at some other ports too. Indian power and steel companies are importing shiploads of coal due to a severe shortage at home, leading to heavy congestion in one of the country's busiest ports that now has


Workers End Strike at Haifa

Workers at Israel's state-owned Haifa Port ended their strike on Tuesday, a day after they walked off the job in protest at a government plan to build private, competing ports. A spokesman for the Chamber of Shipping said the port workers returned after Israel's labour court ruled that the


EU Sanctions on Iran Oil tanker Group Annulled

European Union sanctions on Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC have been annulled after the EU did not appeal against a court ruling that the measures should be lifted, the shipping group's lawyer said on Tuesday. An EU official told Reuters the European Union was working to resolve the issue


NITC: Says EU Sanctions Lifted

Dubai 11 NITC3.JPG

European Union sanctions on Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC have been annulled after the EU failed to appeal against a court ruling that ordered the measures to be lifted, the shipping company said on Tuesday. An EU official told Reuters the European Union was working to resolve the issue


Exxon Mobil Wants PDVSA Legal Edict Enforced

  Oil company Exxon Mobil asked a U.S. District Court on Friday to recognize a World Bank arbitration ruling that Venezuela must pay $1.6 billion over a nationalization claim filed in 2007. "Awards issued pursuant to the ICSID Convention are subject to automatic recognition and


S. Korea Prosecutor to Appeal Ferry Crew Verdicts

Photo: South Korea Coast Guard

A South Korean prosecutor said on Tuesday his team would appeal against court rulings on the 15 crew of a capsized ferry who were given prison terms ranging from five to 36 years. The captain of the ferry, which sank killing about 300 people, mostly children


Convicted Crew of Korean Ferry File Appeals

Photo: South Korea Coast Guard

Eight of the 15 surviving crew members of a South Korean ferry that capsized in April have filed for appeal against their convictions on negligence charges in the country's worst maritime disaster in more than four decades. The eight crew members


Battle Over Keystone XL Pipeline

Oil pipelines are safe and efficientf

  Nebraska's Supreme Court ruled against a challenge to the Keystone XL oil pipeline's route through the state on Friday, clearing the way for the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress to try to force President Barack Obama to approve the project.


BP, Anadarko Fail to Win Review of Gulf Spill Fines

  BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp narrowly failed to persuade a U.S appeals court to reconsider its 2014 ruling that they could face civil fines under federal pollution laws over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. By a 7-6 vote, the 5th U.S


EU Annulls Sanctions on 40 Shipping Firms

The European Union's second highest court on Thursday annulled EU sanctions on an Iranian bank and 40 shipping companies hit with asset freezes as part of pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme.   But they will remain under sanctions for now after the General Court gave the EU time


UK Court Rejects Iran Tanker Firm's Attempt to Avert Sanctions

A legal attempt by Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC to stop the European Union from reimposing sanctions on it over its disputed nuclear program has failed in a London court, setting back Tehran's efforts to ease trade restrictions. Iran is engaged in nuclear talks with world powers as it tries






 
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