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 Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Contracts

ECO Orders Rolls-Royce Equipment for New AHTS

Rolls-Royce has been awarded a contract worth $30.6m with the American owner Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). The contract for ship equipment comprises Azimuth main propulsion,

Seadrill: Rig Rates Have Not Bottomed

The market for oil and gas drilling rigs continues to deteriorate as oil companies cut back on investments, Seadrill Chief Financial Officer Rune Magnus Lundetrae

Kvichak, Vigor Announce Merger

Merger positions combined company to play a dominant role in recapitalization of North Pacific fishing fleet and emerging Arctic oil gas operations. Kvichak

Legal

IACS and European Commission Hold Joint Workshop to Kick Off European Shipping Week

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) held a joint workshop in Brussels with the European Commission to kick off European Shipping Week, the association announced today.

Cosco Boxship Detained Over Illegal Arms

Colombian authorities detained a vessel operated by China's largest shipping group for illegally transporting thousands of cannon shells, about 100 tonnes of gunpowder

Kvichak, Vigor Announce Merger

Merger positions combined company to play a dominant role in recapitalization of North Pacific fishing fleet and emerging Arctic oil gas operations. Kvichak

Insurance

Rescue 21 Achieves 'SOLAS' Declaration from DHS

The U.S. Coast Guard is declaring 'Sea Area A1' service in certain areas off the coast of the United States based on the performance of the General Dynamics-built Rescue 21 system.

Mariners Transiting Delaware River Cautioned

The Captain of the Port (COTP) Delaware Bay is notifying mariners that Upper Delaware River lighted buoy 33 (LLNR 3875) and Upper Delaware River lighted buoy

Top Five Most Costly Insurance Claims

The TT Club has alerted the supply chain industry to a persistence of claims in a handful of loss types. The international transport, freight and logistics insurance

Consulting

Navy Reserve Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

Service members and civilians packed the Pentagon Library Conference Center for the Navy Reserve Centennial Kickoff Celebration March 2. Chief of Navy Reserve Vice Adm.

“Bright Ideas” program - Ash Center - Harvard University

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized the Port of Houston Partners

India to Appoint Coastal Shipping Consultant

As part of Narendra Modi government plan to promote coastal shipping, India is all set to appoint a consultancy firm to assist the Shipping Ministry.    The

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.2077 sec (5 req/sec)