Presumption of Fault, Allision, and Independent Contractors

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that the presumption of fault normally attributable to a shipowner when the ship is involved in an allision with a fixed object is inapplicable only where the ship was under the control of an independent contractor. In the instant case, defendant's barge allided with a bridge during a hurricane. The barge had broken loose from its moorings. Defendant contended that the entities responsible for the mooring were independent contractors, but, for procedural reasons, was unable to sustain the argument. Source: HK Law
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