Crew members’ claim

Crew members’ claim

There was an explosion and fire aboard a ship causing the death of two crew members. A classification society classed the ship and issued an ISM certificate for it. The source of ignition had not been identified.

The flag state concluded that the shipowner’s maintenance and safety management of the ship was ineffective. Furthermore, it deemed the inspections and surveys, by both the Coast Guard and the ship’s classification society, also ineffective.

The classification society was sued by the deceaseds’ families in two separate proceedings. The shipowner was also a named defendant.

The classification society’s lawyers sent a letter tendering the defence of both actions and requesting indemnity from the shipowner according to the contractual terms governing the classification society’s services. The shipowner declined to accept the defence and indemnity and later filed for bankruptcy.

The classification society incurred expenses of US$1m and paid a settlement contribution.

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