Knot a problem if ITIC has you covered
A consultant geophysical surveyor was on board a client’s vessel performing a survey. Whilst measuring sound velocity in the water using a device owned by the client, the surveyor tied the measuring equipment with a poor knot which slipped, allowing the equipment to fall overboard. It was unrecoverable.
The surveyor’s contract contained a knock-for-knock liability clause. This stated that the surveyor was not liable for any damage to the client’s property, even if it arose from their negligence.
However, the contract was subject to Italian law and jurisdiction. Under Italian law limitations and exclusions such as knock-for-knock are only enforceable if they are specifically approved by the parties. This would mean having the parties’ signature next to the clause. As these were standard terms and conditions the legal advice was there was a high chance that the knock-for-knock clause would not have been enforceable by the surveyor.
Therefore, the claim was settled on the best terms possible which was US$ 15,000 by ITIC.