Diving into trouble
A yacht broker was the central agent for a yacht moored in the USA. During a pre-purchase survey, the engine’s RPM was lower than it should have been. The owner decided to remedy this by reconditioning the yacht’s propellers.
The central agent instructed a firm of diving engineers to inspect the propellers. The engineers decided that they should remove the propellers so they could be properly investigated.
The first diver decided not to wait for his colleague before he started to remove the propellers. Unfortunately, the yacht’s davits broke and the propeller dropped onto the diver cutting his leg. Subsequently, the cut on the diver’s leg became infected. This became a serious issue.
The diver’s attorney issued proceedings against the yacht owner and the central agent claiming substantial damages for the bodily injury, pain and suffering, future disability, medical costs, future care and loss of earnings.
In the USA legal costs are unrecoverable. Therefore, even if the yacht broker could have successfully defended the claim the costs incurred would have been “wasted”.
Fortunately, the broker had insurance with ITIC, which covered the defence costs of US$ 50,000.