Exculpatory Clauses and Ambiguity

Monday, May 05, 2003
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that exculpatory clauses of a ship repair contract are not ambiguous where a reasonable construction renders the clauses consistent. In the instant case, one clause of the contract provided for limited liability on the part of the repair facility to the owner, charterer, and other identified parties for damages caused by the facility's negligence. Another clause provided that the facility would not be liable to "any person" for damages caused by its negligence. The court held that the term "any person" in the second clause could reasonably be interpreted as meaning any person other than those named in the first clause. Thus, the ship repair contract was found to be unambiguous and enforceable. Source: HK Law

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