Marine Link
Monday, October 23, 2017

Court Ruling

FMC Upheld on Claim of Unreasonably Refusing to Deal or Negotiate

In an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a petition for review sought by a stevedoring company of a decision of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). In a matter before the agency, the FMC had ruled that a marine terminal operator had not unreasonably refused to deal or negotiate with the stevedoring company. In its decision, the court ruled that the FMC decision was supported by substantial evidence and was consistent with past precedent. Source: HK Law

Maritrans' Claim for Damages from OPA 90 Denied

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled on December 21, 2001 that the double hull requirement of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 ("OPA") does not constitute a "taking" of Maritrans' petroleum barges. Maritrans is currently evaluating whether to take an appeal. OPA prohibits existing single-hull tank vessels from continuing operation through their useful life, mandating a phase-out schedule over a period of years. In 1996

Lawsuit Aimed at Stopping Casino Boat

Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth filed a complaint in Volusia Circuit Court, seeking to force SunCruz Casinos to get rid of the slot machines and other casino games on one of its cruise-to-nowhere boats, which docks in Ponce Inlet. The refusal by the U.S. Supreme Court to tamper with a lower court ruling that federal law does not prevent states from deciding their existing laws prohibiting land-based casino gaming also apply to cruise-to-nowhere operations may have been the motivation

Negligent Homicide with Yacht Leads to Loss of Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that, where the owner of a yacht was convicted of negligent homicide in connection with a fatal collision, the insurance company is not obligated to defend under a policy excluding losses “criminally caused or incurred” by the insured. In the instant case, plaintiff was operating his yacht when it collided with another boat, killing one of the passengers of the boat

U.S. Supreme Court Reject Exxon Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on an appeal by Exxon Mobil Corp. over the $5 billion punitive damages verdict against it for the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident, the nation's worst oil spill. The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court ruling that the award against the oil giant in a civil lawsuit brought by Alaskan fishermen and other plaintiffs should not be set aside because of irregularities during jury deliberations.

Federal Court Delivers Ruling On Bayport

The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) welcomed U.S. District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore's ruling on the motions for summary judgment that had been filed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PHA, and the opponents of PHA's Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal project. The court ruling grants the Corps' and PHA's motions and denies the opponents' motion, thereby dismissing the challenge to the Bayport permit. According to the court's ruling

Dredge is a Vessel for Purposes of LHWCA

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a dredge not currently in navigation is still a vessel for purposes of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). In the instant case, a marine engineer was injured while performing repairs on a scow tied up to a dredge. The dredge was capable of only limited movement on its own, dragging itself along using anchors and cables. Otherwise, it had to be towed. The lower court held that

Ruling on Border Inspections

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Executive Branch has plenary authority to conduct suspicionless inspections at the border. In the instant case, Customs officials removed and disassembled the gas tank from a car entering the United States from Mexico at a land border crossing. Marijuana was found in the gas tank and criminal charges were brought against the driver. Defendant argued that the evidence should be suppressed because the search was highly intrusive and was not based on

The Townsend Decision: Should Vessel Owners Deny Maintenance and Cure?

Lawrence R. DeMarcay, III is a partner at Fowler Rodriguez Valdes-Fauli in the firm’s New Orleans, La. office. He can be reached at ldemarcay@frvf-law.com or 504-595-5122.

Unfortunately, as a vessel owner or operator, you have probably been faced with a situation where one of your crew members have allegedly become sick or injured while in the service of the vessel.  As you are aware, once this injury or illness is reported to the company, the duties of providing maintenance and cure under the Jones Act begin. Unfortunately, instances of fraud where the employee may not have suffered the injury or illness that he or she is complaining of seem to be common

China Protests Australia's Freedom of Navigation Comment

China said on Thursday it had issued a formal protest after Australia announced it would continue to exercise its right to freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea following a court ruling against China's claims.   The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague concluded this week that China had no historic claim to the waters and it had violated the Philippines' economic and sovereign rights.  

Lawsuit Drags BP's Oil Trading Division into the Red

Brian Gilvary (Photo: BP)

BP's oil trading business, one of the biggest in the sector, reported a rare loss in the fourth quarter after it lost a $70 million lawsuit over an oil cargo delivered to a Moroccan refinery.   BP's Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said due to flat trading positions ahead of a crucial OPEC meeting at the end of November, and the lawsuit, the company's oil trading division made a "small loss" in the fourth quarter.  

Hamburg Elbe Dredging Plan Needs Improvement

The port of Hamburg, Germany (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

Plans to dredge the river Elbe in Hamburg must be improved before a stop order on the work is lifted, a German court ruled on Thursday, raising the risk of more delay to work to deepen Germany's biggest port and open it up to new container ships.   Green pressure groups had lodged a legal complaint against the original plan, arguing the environmental impact of dumping mud and sand on fragile coastal wetlands would be devastating.  

S.Korea Court Declares Hanjin Bankrupt

File Image: credit Hanjin

A South Korean court declared Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd bankrupt on Friday, after ruling earlier this month that the firm's liquidation value would be worth more than its value as a going concern.   Hanjin Shipping, which had been the world's seventh-largest container shipper, applied for court receivership in late August after its creditor banks halted further support.   The Seoul Central District Court said in a statement it has chosen a bankruptcy administrator

Seized Moroccan Ship to Stay in South Africa, Court Rules

 A South African court ruled on Thursday that a seized ship carrying a Moroccan cargo of phosphate from the disputed Western Sahara should remain in port until the case goes to trial or security is posted, a lawyer for the Polisario independence movement said. The Polisario Front alleges the 50,000 tonne shipment en route to New Zealand was illegally taken from Western Sahara territory and went to court to have the cargo seized.

U.S. Backs S. China Sea Bilateral Talks

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry says backs bilateral talks; Philippines says dispute does not involve United States. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday he supported the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea, following an international court ruling against Beijing over the dispute earlier this month. China did not participate in and has refused to accept the July 12 ruling by the U.N.-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration, in which U

China Asks U.S. to Support Resumption of Talks with Philippines

China's foreign minister has asked the U.S. secretary of state John Kerry to support the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea, following a ruling against Beijing over the dispute earlier this month.   China did not participate in and has refused to accept the July 12 ruling by The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration, in which U.S. ally Manila won an emphatic legal victory.  

Cambodia Urged ASEAN to Avoid Words That Escalate Tension

Cambodia advised a grouping of South East Asian nations to avoid using words that "would escalate tension between China and the Philippines" in a weekend statement, the country's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.   Cambodia's support for China's position on an international court ruling denying the Asian giant's claims in the South China Sea handed Beijing a diplomatic victory when the grouping's ministers met on Sunday.  

China, Russia Navies to hold S. China Sea Drills

China and Russia will hold "routine" naval drills in the South China Sea in September, China's defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference on Thursday. The drills come at a time of heightened tension in the contested waters after an arbitration court in the Hague ruled this month that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea and criticised its environmental destruction there. China rejected the ruling and refused to participate in the case.

China: 'Illegal' Fishing in S.China Sea to be Met Harshly

China's Supreme Court said on Tuesday people caught illegally fishing in Chinese waters could be jailed for up to a year, issuing a judicial interpretation defining those waters as including China's exclusive economic zones. An arbitration court in The Hague ruled last month that China had no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and that it had breached the Philippines' sovereign rights with various actions in the sea, infuriating Beijing which dismissed the case.

Japan Urges China Not to Escalate Sea Tension

Japan said on Monday it would respond firmly after Chinese government vessels intruded into what Japan considers its territorial waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea 14 times at the weekend.   Ties between China and Japan, the world's second and third largest economies, have for years been plagued by a dispute over the islands that Japan controls, and the waters around them.   The flurry of Chinese incursions into the waters follows a period of sustained pressure on

Japan, Philippines Negotiate Coast Guard Ships Delivery

Japan and the Philippines have begun talks for the transfer of two large coast guard ships to Manila, to help patrol the disputed South China Sea, a Japanese foreign ministry official said on Friday, as part of a deal on defence equipment. The two brand-new 90-metre (295-ft) multi-role response vessels will be in addition to ten 44-metre (144-ft) mid-sized coast guard ships, worth 8.8 billion pesos ($188.52 million), that Japan is set to start delivering next week.

Philippines: Sea Dispute Won't Shift Ties with China, U.S.

Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

The Philippines' territorial dispute with China over the South China Sea has not caused Manila to rebalance diplomatic ties with either its ally, the United States, or neighbouring China, Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay said on Wednesday. An arbitration court in the Hague infuriated China in July by ruling that China had no historical title over the South China Sea and that it had breached the Philippines' sovereign rights with various actions there.

Hanjin Shipping plan would see sale of most of its ships

Hanjin File Photo

South Korea's Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd, whose collapse has disrupted global trade, is considering a restructuring plan to sell more than half its ships, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. However, liquidation remained the most likely outcome for Hanjin Shipping, the newspaper cited the sources as saying. Hanjin Shipping, the world's seventh-largest container carrier

DSME CEO Questioned over Accounting Fraud

Photo by DSME Co.,Ltd

 The chief executive of struggling Korean shipbuilder Daewoo was questioned by state prosecutors on Tuesday over allegations that the yard tried to cover a major deficit in 2015 by underreporting losses.   According to a report in Yonhap, Jung Sung-leep, 66, appeared before the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office as a suspect on charges of violating the Act on External Audit of Stock Companies.  

Norwegian Shipping Firm Denies Polisario Accusation of Illegal Shipment

A Norwegian shipping firm on Thursday denied a tanker it manages had violated a European court ruling after Western Sahara's Polisario movement accused it of illegally transporting an oil cargo through disputed territory it claims. The Polisario independence movement this week called on the European Union and French authorities to seize a France-bound cargo being transported on the Gibraltar-flagged Key Bay because the tanker had made a port call to Moroccan-controlled Laayoune on Jan. 5

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2017 - The Marine Design Annual

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