Tuesday, June 18, 2013

WHO SUES WHO

From various Alabama and maritime Media sources comes word that Carnival Group has sued BAE Systems shipyard at Mobile, AL.  Yes that's right Carnival has sued rather than get sued though in fact that to has happened also.

In February 2013 the BAE Systems shipyard accepted the MS Carnival Triumph the cruise vessel to assess and complete repairs resulting from a loss of power while underway at sea.  On April 03, 2013 in strong winds she broke free from moorings under the responsibility of the BAE Systems shipyard and was further damaged.  During this incident tragically a BAE shipyard worker was killed. 

For some reason the attorney hired by that workers family sued Carnival Group, rather than BAE Systems where the worker was employed, in a suit filed in May 2013.  One can only surmise that this was due to inexperience on the part of the lawyer, a lack of knowledge in maritime law or some quirk in Alabama State Law.  However it was the understanding of NAUTICAL LOG that in the United States since there is not a separate Admiralty Court maritime cases come under U.S. Federal Law.

As to Carnival Group suing BAE Systems it was further the understanding of NAUTICAL LOG during his 50 year professional maritime career that once a shipyard accepted a vessel for repairs the shipyard was fully responsible for her needs which included a safe and secure berth.  Therefore it would seem reasonable, proper and expected under the terms of the repair contract accepted by both parties for Carnival to sue BAE.

One shall be interested to see if the suit filed against Carnival Group on behalf the deceased worker is accepted.  Given the current highly negative attitude against cruise lines in general this will need careful monitoring to maintain fairness in the application of maritime law and to whom, in a Nation that prides itself in living under the Rule of Law.

Good Watch.

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