ITIC Says: Ship Managers Must Beware of Increase in Claims by Owners

(Press Release)
Wednesday, May 09, 2012

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) says it has seen a noticeable increase in claims against ship managers by shipowners who are going through difficult financial times.

In the latest issue of its Claims Review, ITIC notes that, as result of their financial difficulties, owners resist paying for the full maintenance of their ships and also end up owing ship managers not only for their own fees but also for disbursements paid on owners’ behalf. When ship managers try to collect the funds due, they are faced with a claim for negligence in the management of the ship. In ITIC’s experience, once shipowners fail to put managers in funds, the situation rarely improves, and usually deteriorates. The resulting claims are time-consuming and costly to defend.

ITIC says that it is of the utmost importance that ship managers’ records and correspondence with shipowners are clear and in good order. By way of illustration it cites a dispute between the manager and owner of a ship involving a balance of funds owed to the manager. It was agreed that those funds would be put into an escrow account. The matter remained idle for five months, until the owner raised a claim against the ship manager, through its lawyers, for alleged negligence. The owner claimed that the ship manager was in breach of its duty to maintain the ship in an efficient, employable state and that, as a result, it had suffered significant losses. The claim put forward by the ship owner was in excess of $17m and included alleged losses in respect of the vessel’s future employment, expenses paid by the shipowner for repairs/spares/drydockings, reduction in the vessel’s market value, and other additional damages.

The ship manager rejected these allegations in full and lawyers were appointed by ITIC to defend its position. The manager maintained that the vessel’s condition had deteriorated due to age, constraints of trade, and expenditure and maintenance restrictions imposed by the owner. The manager further stated that the owner was fully aware of the deficiencies and the condition of the ship when it was taken under management. Despite this, the owner had not taken the necessary steps to facilitate remedial action.

Lawyers for the owner aggressively pursued the claim against the manager. However, the manager’s files and correspondence on the ship were in good condition, and a thorough audit trail existed for every decision regarding the running and maintenance of the ship. The ship was eventually scrapped, but the owner continued to maintain that it had a claim against the manager, even though it was unable to provide any proof or to document its losses.
 
Eventually, after two years, the claim was finalised on a drop-hands basis. The total cost of the legal fees to defend the innocent ship manager was $250,000.
 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Contracts

CMA CGM Proceeds with NOL Takeover after China Okay

CMA CGM, the world's third-largest container shipping firm, is to go ahead with its planned acquisition of Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) after receiving regulatory clearance from China,

Technip Bags Statoil's Umbilical Supply Contract

Technip’s wholly-owned subsidiary Technip Umbilicals Ltd.(1) has been awarded a contract by Statoil ASA to supply the umbilical(2) to the Oseberg Vestflanken 2 field offshore Norway.

Olympic Pact with Canyon Offshore

Norwegian offshore shipping company Olympic Shipping has entered into a frame agreement with Canyon Offshore for the joint marketing and subsequent operation of

Legal

Primeline Turns Against CNOOC

Primeline Energy Holdings Inc. announces that it has sent a letter to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and CNOOC China Limited (CCL) (together CNOOC

Sovcomflot IPO Soon

The long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of Sovcomflot, which runs one of the world’s largest tanker and gas carrier fleets, has moved a step closer.    Economy

First Cruise Company Fined under Australia’s New Fuel Rules

Australia’s NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Carnival PLC $15,000 after one of its P&O Cruises ships, the Pacific Jewel, breached new low sulfur fuel regulations in Sydney Harbour.

Insurance

Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau Elects New Leaders

Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau Holds Annual Membership Meeting; Elects New Leadership and Votes to Proceed with a Third Party Organization Application to the Coast

NTSB Determines Faults Leading to Fatal Collision

In examining the deadly collision of tugboat/barge Caribbean Sea/The Resource with Amphibious Passenger Vehicle DUKW 34, the U.S. National Transportation Safety

London P&I Club Reports Increased Free Reserves

The London P&I Club’s result for the 2015/2016 financial year produced an overall operating surplus of $3.3 million, lifting the free reserve to $160.7 million.

Consulting

IMO to Prevent Cyber-attacks

At a meeting of the IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), it was recognised that ships may also be exposed to so-called cyber-attacks. Now, the IMO wants to

APL Reduces Carbon Emissions by 45.5%

APL today announced that it has reduced its fleet carbon dioxide emissions by 45.5% in 2015, compared to its emissions level in 2009. This achievement marks APL’s

Rising VLGCs fleet Impact LPG Freight Rates

LPG shipping freight rates are forecast to deteriorate further through 2016 as a result of the fast rising fleet of Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs) which has already

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0660 sec (15 req/sec)