Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reino De España v. American Bureau Of Shipping

Aug 29: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, Case No. 10-3518. Appealed from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The case involves a November 2002, spill from the oil tanker Prestige which sank off the northwestern coast of Spain, releasing large quantities of oil into the ocean. Reino de España (Spain or Plaintiff) alleges that the oil, on washing up on the Spanish coastline, caused serious environmental and economic damage to Spain and its citizens. Spain, in reaction to the alleged effects of this marine casualty, brought suit against American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and its subsidiaries (collectively, Defendants). ABS is a classification society -- an organization that, as relevant to the present appeal, is contracted by ship owners regularly to survey their vessels for compliance with ABS's requirements on structural soundness.
    The district court ruled that Defendants were entitled to summary judgment because, in the circumstances presented, ABS and its subsidiaries, did not owe Reino de España a duty in tort in connection with ABS's inspection of the tanker Prestige. Without reaching that issue, the Appeals Court concluded that ". . .even if such a duty were owed, Plaintiff did not introduce evidence
sufficient to create a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether Defendants recklessly breached that duty. . ." and affirmed the decision of the district court.
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Haz/OilSpill, #CA2]
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