Heartless owner

Heartless owner

A yacht manager performed a successful coordination of a medical emergency response in respect of a crew member that felt ill. A helicopter collected the crew member from the yacht and took him to a hospital onshore. The costs, paid directly by the manager, were US$ 30,000.

The owner subsequently refused to reimburse the manager for the costs on the basis that retrospectively doctors opined the crew member had been exaggerating when self-reporting on his situation (the crew member believed he was in cardiac arrest) and that the manager should have known that the crew member was prone to exaggeration having a reputation as a hypochondriac.

ITIC defended the yacht manager’s position that on the basis of the feedback received by the crew member the response was appropriate and in line with SOLAS requirements.

The owner remained adamant they would not pay and also refused to pass the matter on to their P&I Club as they were worried about their worsening loss record and upcoming renewal. The yacht management agreement stipulated the manager should be a co-assured on the P&I policy and therefore, the manager could report the matter directly. However, it transpired that the owner had not complied with their duties which deprived the manager of the right of a direct recovery from the P&I Club.

Ultimately, ITIC negotiated a recovery from the owner on the basis that (a) the manager’s actions were reasonable and proportionate and (b) if the manager had been coassured as they were supposed to be, the claim would have been recoverable.

The full claim of US$ 30,000 was recovered from the owner.

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