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Suit Against

Citizen Suits Under the U.S. Clean Water Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld the right of citizens to bring suit for civil penalties under the Clean Water Act, also known as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). In the instant case, plaintiff environmental advocacy group brought suit against the owner of an oil refinery for alleged discharges of petroleum coke into U.S waters, after notifying the owner of the alleged violations. The defendant contended that the notification letter was deficient because the letter failed to identify the specific dates of the alleged violations and because it had sold the refinery to a third party between the time it received the notification letter and the time suit was brought. The court held that the notification need only provide enough information that the defendant can identify and correct the problem. The court also held that a defendant can not escape liability for past violations by selling the polluting facility. Source: HK Law


Favorable Verdict for Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises announced that a federal court jury in New York has awarded Celebrity $193m in a lawsuit against Essef Corp. Celebrity has remaining claims for interest and certain legal fees. Celebrity filed suit against Essef Corp. for damages stemming from a 1994 outbreak of Legionnaires' disease on Celebrity's vessel Horizon. Celebrity claimed for out-of-pocket losses, lost profits, and loss of business enterprise value related to this incident.


Two Bites of an Apple Disallowed

In an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a plaintiff may not bring separate actions against different parties based on the same nucleus of operative facts. In the instant case, plaintiff was injured when thrown from a boat. He sued the manufacturer of the outboard motor, the manufacturer of the boat, the retailer of the boat and motor, the boat owner/operator, and the insurance company of the owner/operator


U.S. jurisdiction clause does not require application of COGSA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that inclusion in a bill of lading of a clause providing for U.S. jurisdiction does not require application of the U.S. Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) where the goods were shipped from Spain to China and the General Paramount Clause provided for application of the Hague-Visby Rules. In the instant case, the goods were damaged en route and the shipper brought suit against the vessel and the carrier


Reduction of attorney’s fee contract to protect seaman

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a court sitting in admiralty has inherent authority to alter a contingent fee contract for legal services entered into by an uncounseled seaman. In the instant case, plaintiff foreign seaman retained an attorney to represent him in a personal injury suit against the owner of a ship on which he was injured. The contingent fee contract called for recovery (assuming success in the litigation) by the attorney of all expenses and


Dow Chemical Files Suit Against Shipping Companies

Dow Chemical Company and its subsidiary Union Carbide Corporation have filed lawsuits in the US against Odfjell and three other major parcel chemical tanker carriers, Stolt-Nielsen, Tokyo Marine and JO Tankers in relation to violations of antitrust laws in the US, and claimed damages as a consequence thereof. The lawsuits have not yet been served on Odfjell. On September 29, Odfjell ASA's wholly owned subsidiary Odfjell Seachem AS entered into a voluntary plea agreement with the US


Tiger Woods Comes Out at Yacht Builder

A federal court in Miami has ruled that golfer Tiger Woods’ lawsuit against Christensen Shipyards, Ltd. will proceed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and that an order enjoining Christensen from the unauthorized use of Woods’ name or photographs of his boat will remain in place. Woods filed his rights-of-publicity suit against Christensen last October in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida


Alaska Files Civil Suit Against Royal Caribbean

Alaska filed a civil suit on Aug. 13 against Royal Caribbean Cruises, accusing the company of dumping oil and other hazardous wastes into state waters after the firm pleaded guilty to federal criminal pollution charges. Royal Caribbean pleaded guilty last month and was fined $18 million for 21 felony counts of violating federal water pollution laws in areas ranging from the Caribbean to Alaska’s Inside Passage. Attorney General Bruce Botelho said the state filed a civil case in Superior


Chilean Navy Reassesses Damage From Oil Tanker Spill

An oil tanker that ran aground in a remote southern Chilean fjord in late May spilled 92,600 gallons (350,528 liters) of crude, leaving an oil slick 70 miles (112 km) long and damaging wildlife and a salmon farm, the Chilean Navy said on Wednesday. Maritime authorities initially dismissed the incident, which occurred on May 25, saying the leak had been negligible and had caused no damage to the environment. But the Navy on Wednesday admitted the spill was worse than first announced.


Suit on Carrier’s Bill of Lading Constitutes Acceptance

In a rehearing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the forum selection clause in a carrier’s bill of lading is accepted by the non-signing cargo owner when the owner brings suit against the carrier for breach of the bill of lading. In the instant case, plaintiff cargo owner contracted with a NVOCC to have its cargo shipped from Korea to Los Angeles. The NVOCC’s bill of lading included a forum selection clause providing for suit in the United States


US Lifts Iran Economic Sanctions against ASM

On February 7, 2014, the United States, acting through the U.S. State Department (the foreign ministry of the United States) terminated all economic sanctions imposed against Associated Shipbroking, Monaco (ASM), under the U.S. economic sanctions against Iran


MTN Launches Social Media Threat Intelligence

MTN Government (MTNGOV), a subsidiary of MTN Communications (MTN) and a company in satellite communications, cybersecurity and integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solutions serving U.S. DoD and civilian agencies worldwide


First Twin Axe Delivery for Njord Offshore

Photo: Damen

Njord Offshore from Essex, U.K., have taken delivery of their first 26m Twin Axe built by Damen Shipyards Group. The vessel was ordered early January 2014, and the delivery took place on February 27. During this seven-week period, the vessel was modified from a basic


Omega Debuts Compact RTD Temperature Sensors

Image: Omega

Omega’s new RTDM12 series of compact RTD temperature sensors are extremely rugged with a molded (IP67) 4-pin connector with M12 male thread and a fast response time. This RTD plug is suited for pressure vessel applications, pressurized containers and applications requiring a temperature


NYK Set to Defend Canada Price-fixing Lawsuit

NYK Line (Canada) Inc. (CA) has received notice of a class action civil complaint filed against them along with several other ocmpanies on July 4, 2013. NYK Group have also been informed that they are named defendants in the suit served on CA and will likely be named in other suits with CA.


Lubricant Usage Standards in the 2013 Vessel General Permit

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Environmentally acceptable lubricants required in Oil-to-Sea interfaces where technically feasible. With the recent release of the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP), vessel owner/operators must review their operational practices for incidental discharge of lubricants to the marine environment


Maritime Legend Passes Away

Captain Robert M. Cusick at Board of Investigation: Photo courtesy of Robert Frump

Captain Robert M. Cusick Jr., a merchant marine officer who survived the wreck of the SS Marine Electric and then helped lead a major reform of US maritime safety standards, died peacefully in his sleep in New Hampshire on Thursday, September 12, 2013, according to Carol Cusick, his daughter


Bollinger Builds

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Bollinger Ramps Up for GOM Oil Sector and Builds for USCG Lockport, La.-based Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. is humming with work from oil and gas companies and government agencies. Family-owned and operated, Bollinger has 10 shipyards -- nine in south Louisiana and one in Texas -- along with 28


Greenpeace: Piracy Charge Against Arctic Activists "An Assault on Peaceful Protest"

The Russian state prosecutor laid charges of piracy against a Greenpeace activist who protested against oil drilling in the Arctic. A freelance videographer has also been charged with piracy, which carries a maximum 15 year jail sentence. It is an extreme and disproportionate charge


ITIC Issues Warning on Forged Documents

ITIC has warned shipping intermediaries to be on the look-out for cleverly forged documents which could result in them being held liable for substantial claims by cargo interests. In the latest issue of its Claims Review, ITIC refers to the case of a Belgian ship agent which released six


Somali Pirates Sentenced for the Murder of Four Americans

Somali nationals Ahmed Muse Salad, a/k/a “Afmagalo,” 27, Abukar Osman Beyle, 33, and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar, 31, who were previously found guilty of piracy, murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, violence against maritime navigation


Atlas Copco Debuts WEDA Small Range Pumps

The new Atlas Copco WEDA small range pumps include: (left to right) WEDA04 and WEDA08 drainage pumps, WEDA04B residual pump and WEDA08S sludge pump

Atlas Copco has introduced a new small range of WEDA pumps to provide fast and efficient dewatering. In addition to the original nine pumps, the WEDA04 and WEDA08 provide drainage pumping, with the WEDA08S for sludge pumping and the WEDA04B for low suction pumping.


Brunei Shell Orders Trelleborg Foam Fenders

Photo: Trelleborg

Trelleborg has won the contract to supply more than 100 of its SeaGuard foam fenders to Brunei Shell’s Kuala Belait supply base wharf in Brunei, through local Brunei registered contractor Waqi Sdn Bhd. As part of an upgrade project for the wharf


ISP Announces Defense Sector Growth

ISP managing Director John Rogers

Liverpool marine firm International Safety Products (ISP) is announcing major defense sector growth after securing a deal with the Pakistan Navy. The Bootle business has signed a contract to supply the Asian security force with more than 180 assault troop lifejackets


GUARDIAN Rebranded under Guardian Maritime

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The GUARDIAN brand of antipiracy barriers is restructured under a new company name. With immediate effect, GUARDIAN will now be provided by Guardian Maritime Limited. In taking their whole operation back in-house the original inventors and owners, David and Teresa Stevens


 
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