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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In an unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a plaintiff may not bring separate actions against different parties based on the same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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


Thai Resort Owners Sue State Owned Company for Oil Spill

Oil pollution: File photo

Business owners on Koh Samet island are suing a state-owned petroleum enterprise for the oil spill that polluted the resort island's beaches last year. More than 50,000 litres of crude oil leaked from pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical in July 2013 and blackened several beaches on Koh Samet


Obama Trade Law Survives Chinese WTO Appeal

U.S. President Barack Obama (White House photo)

China failed to overturn a U.S. law targeting unfair trade subsidies on Monday, when the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body said it did not have enough information to uphold China's appeal against an earlier WTO ruling. China had claimed that the U.S


P&I Claims Increase for Bagged Rice Shipments

According to estimates, of the nearly 475m metric tons of rice produced globally in 2013, the largest producers were China (30% of the total) and India (22%). However, most of the rice produced in these countries is consumed domestically. By contrast


Navies to Address Maritime Skill Decline

Photo courtesy of JFD

However reintegration of capabilities is presenting new challenges in the design, manufacture and integration of sub-sea and surface systems for maritime Special Forces. James Fisher Defencehas stated that navies around the world are now seriously addressing the need to re-develop their skills


U.S. Beefing up Black Sea Presence

The United States will strengthen its presence in the Black Sea region using part of a $1 billion fund promised to NATO allies on Russia's borders, and will continue to send warships to the area, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Romania on Thursday.


Norwegian Aquaculture Workboat Marks Damen Entry

Photo: Damen

Damen Shipyards Group said it has received an order for a Multi Cat 2712 from Norwegian owner Samba AS based in Os (Bergen). The vessel will be the first newbuild from Damen’s proven range of workboats to operate in Norway’s large aquaculture and oil spot market industry.


Ukraine To Pay Gas Arrears If It Gets Contract First

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

  Ukraine is prepared to pay arrears to Russia for gas once it has a contract with Moscow and will take the country to court if it refuses to sign, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk was quoted as saying by a German newspaper on Saturday.


There’s No Such Thing as a Routine Grounding

In past columns, the focus of our discussions has been primarily on maritime incidents such as collisions, allisions and groundings in which U.S. Coast Guard-licensed deck and engineering officers were subject to marine investigations and negligence changes


Vietnam Pledged Tough Measures To Quell Anti Chinese Protests

Protests against Beijing

  Vietnam pledged on Saturday to quell any outbreak of violence after protests against Beijing this week devastated key industrial centers, due to discontent with the Asian giant oil drilling in a disputed area in the South China Sea South.


South Texas Coast Guard Receives Response Boat

U.S. Coast Guard crews at Station South Padre Island have completed the qualification and trial run process, Tuesday, for the new 45-foot-Response Boat-Medium that was delivered to the station in late February. The training focused on acclimating the crews to the boat's advanced response


Suez Canal Changes to transits due to cleansing works

Suez Canal

The Suez Canal Authority advises that due to cleansing work in the Lakes area the following will come into effect from tomorrow (8 May): - Temporary suspension of entry of the second southbound convoy until the end of the cleansing work (Updates to be provided as available).


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


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


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


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






 
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