25 years of claims

Since this is ITIC’s 25th year we asked our longer serving members of staff to recall some of the more unusual situations ITIC had dealt with over the last 25 years. The following are three of our favourites.

Inebriated stevedores taken on cruise

The American agent for a cruise ship was on the receiving end of a legal suit from two stevedores. In the course of loading baggage on the ship, the stevedores had met a friend in the ship’s bar and joined him for a drink or three. The men were unable to leave the ship with the pilot by way of the Jacob’s ladder because of their inebriated condition and were taken on a cruise to Mexico.

The agents were amazed to receive a suit from the stevedores which held them liable, with the owners, for false imprisonment, assault, battery and mental distress.

Although the stevedores eventually withdrew their claim against the agents, ITIC paid US$150,000 in legal costs which, in the United States, are not recoverable.

A very loyal master

ITIC’s lawyers arrested a tanker in Abidjan, much to the disgust and ire of the master who threatened the court bailiff with bodily harm. The owner paid and the same bailiff tried to release the ship. The master hit him on the head when he tried to get on board!

Is it counter-signed by a first class bank?

A shipowner sought to recover from his agent who had released cargo against indemnities countersigned by the failed BCCI bank. The agent had authority to accept indemnities countersigned by first class banks. The owner alleged that the ship agent had failed in his duty of care, in that BCCI was not a first class bank. It was only when ITIC pointed out to the owner that his own account had been with BCCI that the claim was withdrawn.

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