Divided Damages Following Collision

Friday, February 17, 2006
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the equal division of damages in a collision case where both vessels were at fault. In the instant case, an inbound tanker collided with an outbound dredge in the Houston Ship Channel. The trial court found both vessels to have been at fault and divided the damages equally. The tanker owner appealed, asserting that the primary cause of the collision was the steering failure on the dredge as the two vessels were about to pass. On appeal, the court held that the trial court found various faults on the part of both vessels, including regulatory violations by the tanker. The decision of the trial court was found not to be clearly erroneous. Stolt Achievement, Ltd. v. Dredge B.E. Lindholm, No. 04-20773 Source: HK Law

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