Delta Towing Wins Out in Legal Tussle

Press Release
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

LeBlanc Bland P.L.L.C. announces important Fifth Circuit Maritime Ruling: decision addresses enforceability of liquidated damages provision.

An important Fifth Circuit decision in a dispute over the enforceability of a liquidated damages provision -- here, triggered by breaches of a non-compete clause in the sale of two vessels -- constitutes only the third time the Fifth Circuit has addressed this enforceability issue under maritime law.

The decision was handed down last week in the case of International Marine, L.L.C. and International Offshore Services, L.L.C. versus Delta Towing L.L.C., where the Fifth Circuit found in favor of the seller, Delta, and upheld the enforceability of the liquidated damages provision.

In 2006, Delta sold two tugboats to International under the provision that International would not charter out the vessels without giving Delta the opportunity to charter them first. If Delta declined, International was required to pay Delta 10% of the total charter. The vessel sales agreement also provided that liquidated damages would be assessed per occurrence if the non-compete clause was breached.

Two years later, Delta discovered breaches of the non-compete clause and subsequently made demands for payment of the liquidated damages. Eventually, claims were brought in the Eastern District of Louisiana, where the district court issued a midstream ruling in Delta’s favor on the enforceability of the liquidated damages provision. The issue of enforceability was certified for appeal, then an appeal was filed by International. The Fifth Circuit has now ruled in favor of Delta, finding that the liquidated damages provision satisfied the Fifth Circuit test requiring that the liquidated damages amount was reasonably related to the potential damages anticipated by the parties.

The decision is important in maritime law. Actual damages in non-compete agreements are inherently difficult to prove; thus, parties to such agreements typically agree to a liquidated damages provision that they should be able to rely upon being enforced.

Law firm LeBlanc Bland P.L.L.C. serves clients spanning the Gulf Coast, the nation and the world through its offices in Houston, Texas and New Orleans.

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

Legal

Wärtsilä wins BWMS Order for 3 Vessels

Wärtsilä has received another important order for its Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS). Three new container ships being built for a major European shipping

New MD for Glander Int'l Bunkering (India)

Glander International Bunkering is proud to announce that Ajay Menon has been appointed as the Managing Director of Glander International Bunkering (India) Private Limited.

SITC Inks Deal with Qingdao Port

SITC International signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Qingdao Port International Co., Ltd. in Qingdao yesterday in order to further strengthen the strategic

Workboats

Ailing Mariner Medevaced Near Alaska

A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced an ailing mariner from Deep Bay, 25 miles north of Sitka, Sunday.   The Jayhawk crew

Natural Gas Articulated Conduit System Patented

Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) announced that long-time partner Moran Towing Corporation has been granted US Patent 8,967,174 for "Articulated conduit systems

New Bridge Unveiled for US Pushboats

New pushboat bridge unveiled for USA Inland Shipping Expo JRC and Alphatron Marine will introduce a new pushboat bridge concept dedicated for the American river and inland waterways.

Ship Sales

Tanker Demand Picks-up in Canada

Canada’s role in the oil industry has changed dramatically in recent years driven by synthetic crude oil production in the oil sands of Alberta.   New plans for Energy East,

Hyundai Heavy Delivers 2,000th Ship

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has become the world's first shipbuilder to deliver its 2,000th ship. The world's largest shipbuilding company delivered a drillship, "Ocean BlackLion," to U.

Bahri Inks Contracts with Hyundai to Build 5 VLCCs

The National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) signed contracts on Thursday with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) to build five very large crude carriers (VLCCs),

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
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: 0.1338 sec (7 req/sec)