Resolved: What is the Meaning of a Safe Berth Clause?

Citgo Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frescati Shipping Co., 886 F.3d 291 (2020) In this case involving an allision between a crude oil tanker and a submerged anchor, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved the circuit split between the Fifth and Second Circuits regarding the interpretation of safe berth clauses in charter-parties. While the […]

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Prevailing Parties in Maritime Contract Disputes

In this case of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit addressed the issue of “what constitutes a ‘prevailing party’ in the context of a maritime contract dispute.”[1] The dispute arose out of the sale of nine vessels from Hornbeck Offshore to Genesis Marine. In order to continue providing charter […]

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THE FIFTH CIRCUIT URGES A NEW TEST FOR MARITIME CONTRACTS

The issue before the Fifth Circuit in In re: Limitation Complaint of Larry Doiron, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3675 (5th Cir., Feb 27, 2017, revised opinion) was whether the contract was a maritime one. The contract was one to perform flow-back services to improve the performance of an offshore natural-gas well when performance eventually required the […]

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PUNITIVE DAMAGES AGAINST NON-EMPLOYER THIRD-PARTY TORTFEASORS NOT PERMITTED UNDER GENERAL MARITIME LAW

Recently, in Wade v. Clemco Industries, Corp., et al, No. 16-502 (E.D.La. Feb. 2, 2017). the court considered whether a seaman can recover non-pecuniary damages against a non-employer third-party tortfeasor under general maritime law. Plaintiff, Rose Wade was the widow of Garland Wade, who died of exposure to silica dust, which resulted in silicosis and eventually Connective […]

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COLLISIONS RESTRICTED UNDER THE PENNSYLVANIA RULE

While ultimately dismissed on jurisdictional issues the Sixth Circuit in In re: Nancy Buccina, et al., discussed the rule of The Pennsylvania, 86 U.S. 125 (1873) and the definition of a collision. In this matter, the plaintiff was allegedly injured when the boat she was riding on hit a large wave. The district court found that The Pennsylvania rule, which […]

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CONTRACTS INVOLVING OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS ON NAVIGABLE WATERS

By Caitlin Morgenstern of Koch & Schmidt posted in Maritime Law on Tuesday, December 13, 2016. In In re Crescent Energy Servs., LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154038 (E.D. La. Nov. 7, 2016), at issue before the court was whether the contract between Crescent and Carrizo was a maritime or non-maritime contract. If the contract was non-maritime, the Louisiana Oilfield Indemnity Act (LSA-R.S. 9:2780) […]

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SALVOR’S AWARDS

By Caitlin Morgenstern of Koch & Schmidt posted in Maritime Law on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. In Girard v. M/V Blacksheep, Arnaud Girard was a marine salvor who worked to rescue ships in peril. In December 2013, he undertook a rescue mission for a yacht known as the M/Y Blacksheep. Thereafter he filed an action in rem against the Blacksheep, seeking a […]

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UBERRIMAE FIDEI: MARITIME INSURANCE CONTRACTS AND THE DOCTRINE OF THE UTMOST GOOD FAITH

By Caitlin Morgenstern of Koch & Schmidt posted in Maritime Law on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. “Uberrimae fidei” means of the utmost good faith. The uberrimae fidei doctrine requires the insured to disclose to the insurer all known circumstances that materially affect the insurer’s risk. Under the doctrine, when the marine insured fails to disclose to the marine insurer all circumstances known to […]

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EXCULPATORY CONTRACTS UNDER MARITIME LAW

By Caitlin Morgenstern of Koch & Schmidt posted in Maritime Law on Friday, September 9, 2016. In Olmo v. Atlantic City Parasail, LLC, plaintiff, Dina Olmo, brought a claims for negligent entrustment of the company’s vessel, violation of common carrier’s high duty of care and unseaworthiness against defendant, Atlantic City Parasail (“AC Parasail”), as a result of injuries she sustained when defendant’s vessel […]

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