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Suit Against

Citizen Suits Under the U.S. Clean Water Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld the right of citizens to bring suit for civil penalties under the Clean Water Act, also known as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). In the instant case, plaintiff environmental advocacy group brought suit against the owner of an oil refinery for alleged discharges of petroleum coke into U.S waters, after notifying the owner of the alleged violations. The defendant contended that the notification letter was deficient because the letter failed to identify the specific dates of the alleged violations and because it had sold the refinery to a third party between the time it received the notification letter and the time suit was brought. The court held that the notification need only provide enough information that the defendant can identify and correct the problem. The court also held that a defendant can not escape liability for past violations by selling the polluting facility. Source: HK Law


Favorable Verdict for Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises announced that a federal court jury in New York has awarded Celebrity $193m in a lawsuit against Essef Corp. Celebrity has remaining claims for interest and certain legal fees. Celebrity filed suit against Essef Corp. for damages stemming from a 1994 outbreak of Legionnaires' disease on Celebrity's vessel Horizon. Celebrity claimed for out-of-pocket losses, lost profits, and loss of business enterprise value related to this incident.


Two Bites of an Apple Disallowed

In an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a plaintiff may not bring separate actions against different parties based on the same nucleus of operative facts. In the instant case, plaintiff was injured when thrown from a boat. He sued the manufacturer of the outboard motor, the manufacturer of the boat, the retailer of the boat and motor, the boat owner/operator, and the insurance company of the owner/operator


U.S. jurisdiction clause does not require application of COGSA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that inclusion in a bill of lading of a clause providing for U.S. jurisdiction does not require application of the U.S. Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) where the goods were shipped from Spain to China and the General Paramount Clause provided for application of the Hague-Visby Rules. In the instant case, the goods were damaged en route and the shipper brought suit against the vessel and the carrier


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


Dow Chemical Files Suit Against Shipping Companies

Dow Chemical Company and its subsidiary Union Carbide Corporation have filed lawsuits in the US against Odfjell and three other major parcel chemical tanker carriers, Stolt-Nielsen, Tokyo Marine and JO Tankers in relation to violations of antitrust laws in the US, and claimed damages as a consequence thereof. The lawsuits have not yet been served on Odfjell. On September 29, Odfjell ASA's wholly owned subsidiary Odfjell Seachem AS entered into a voluntary plea agreement with the US


Tiger Woods Comes Out at Yacht Builder

A federal court in Miami has ruled that golfer Tiger Woods’ lawsuit against Christensen Shipyards, Ltd. will proceed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and that an order enjoining Christensen from the unauthorized use of Woods’ name or photographs of his boat will remain in place. Woods filed his rights-of-publicity suit against Christensen last October in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida


Alaska Files Civil Suit Against Royal Caribbean

Alaska filed a civil suit on Aug. 13 against Royal Caribbean Cruises, accusing the company of dumping oil and other hazardous wastes into state waters after the firm pleaded guilty to federal criminal pollution charges. Royal Caribbean pleaded guilty last month and was fined $18 million for 21 felony counts of violating federal water pollution laws in areas ranging from the Caribbean to Alaska’s Inside Passage. Attorney General Bruce Botelho said the state filed a civil case in Superior


Chilean Navy Reassesses Damage From Oil Tanker Spill

An oil tanker that ran aground in a remote southern Chilean fjord in late May spilled 92,600 gallons (350,528 liters) of crude, leaving an oil slick 70 miles (112 km) long and damaging wildlife and a salmon farm, the Chilean Navy said on Wednesday. Maritime authorities initially dismissed the incident, which occurred on May 25, saying the leak had been negligible and had caused no damage to the environment. But the Navy on Wednesday admitted the spill was worse than first announced.


Suit on Carrier’s Bill of Lading Constitutes Acceptance

In a rehearing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the forum selection clause in a carrier’s bill of lading is accepted by the non-signing cargo owner when the owner brings suit against the carrier for breach of the bill of lading. In the instant case, plaintiff cargo owner contracted with a NVOCC to have its cargo shipped from Korea to Los Angeles. The NVOCC’s bill of lading included a forum selection clause providing for suit in the United States


Danish Investors Summon OW Bunker Parties to Court over Bankruptcy

File photo: OW Bunker

A group of 26 institutional investors has issued a summons against bankrupt Danish ship fuel supplier OW Bunker in the latest stage of a legal campaign for allegedly misleading them in its 2014 initial public offer (IPO).   The investors had said last year they would sue Bunker


How Politics Impacts OPA 90 Responder Immunity

Steven Candito

Many people today are frustrated with the current U.S. political process as we endure various government stalemates on budgets, Supreme Court appointments, and, of course, the Presidential election. The general theme is voters are angry with the political establishment and, as a result


BlueTide Launches Cyber Security Solution

BlueTide Communications aims to strengthen remote site network defense with its Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) solution. Suited for remote maritime and offshore sites including yachts, merchant ships, offshore supply vessels, liftboats, rigs and platforms


US Freedom of Navigation Ops Targeted 13 Countries Last Year

The U.S. military carried out freedom of navigation operations against 13 countries last year, including several against China for what it views as excessive claims to maritime and airspace jurisdiction, the Pentagon said in an annual report on Monday.  


Spanish Treasure Galleon San Jose Found - Colombia

Concept of what Spanish galleon looked like. Picture from Prince  Museum

  Colombia has found the wreck of a Spanish galleon that sank off the coast of Cartagena and is thought to be laden with emeralds and gold and silver coins, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Friday. More details will be provided at a news conference on Saturday


Bollinger Shipyards Agrees to Settle False Claims Act Suit

Bollinger Shipyards will pay the United States $8.5 million and release contract claims to settle a False Claims Act action filed against it in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Department of Justice announced today.   The False Claims Act suit alleges that Bollinger misrepresented the


North Sea Gets 360° Safety Equipment Servicing Coverage

VIKING offers EASA Part 145 maintenance and repair of aviation suits and lifejackets around the North Sea Photo Viking

  The European Aviation Safety Authorities’ Part 145 approval of VIKING’s Bergen, Norway, servicing station heralds the completion of a ring of safety around the North Sea for aviation suits and lifejackets maintenance and repair needs.  


BIMCO's "SUPERMAN" Contract for Newbuilding Supervision Services

Emblem Courtesy BIMCO

  BIMCO has now launched a new standard contract for ship managers to provide supervision services for shipbuilding and conversion projects. The contract, code named SUPERMAN, is a valuable new addition to BIMCO's existing suite of ship management agreements


Canada Says Lifting Some Sanctions Against Iran

The Canadian government said on Friday it was lifting some sanctions against Iran, including the broad ban on financial services, imports and exports, making Canadian companies more competitive against rivals doing business in Iran.  


Shipping Corporation Q3 Profit Surges

SCIs Container vessel Photo AFP

The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) declared its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended 31st December 2015 posting a net profit of Rs. 59.66 crores as against a net profit of Rs. 31.35 crores during the quarter ended 31st December 2014.


Maritime Cybersecurity: What Next?

The maritime community is no more immune from cyber threats than any other entity that relies on computers and the internet.     The maritime industry, though, constitutes part of the world’s critical infrastructure.  Thus


Mosher Warns NAVSEA of Growing Threat from China

Steven Mosher (Photo: PRI)

Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute and expert on China, spoke yesterday at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) headquarters in Washington, D.C.   Mosher, invited as part of NAVSEA’s Distinguished Speaker Series


S.Korea Issues New Sanctions Against N.Korea

South Korea said it would independently impose new sanctions against 40 individuals and 30 entities for Pyongyang's weapons programme and ban any vessels that had stopped at North Korean ports in the past 180 days. The decision to issue more unilateral sanctions against the North follow a U.N


China Bars North Korean Ship

Image: Rizhao Port

 Reuters reports that China’s Ministry of Transport has blacklisted 31 North Korean vessels in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution. China has barred a North Korean freighter from one of its ports.   The country will start inspecting the North Korean ships that dock


Pelindo III to Receive 15 Tugs in Indonesia

Image: Robert Allan

In early 2015, Robert Allan Ltd., Naval Architects of Vancouver, Canada was awarded a contract to provide four customized versions of its distinctive RAzer series designs of ASD tugboats to the Indonesia Port Corporation, “PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III (PERSERO)”






 
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