Don't do favours

An owner of a superyacht asked a yacht manager as a favour to recommend a Master for an upcoming charter. The yacht manager hoped to acquire the management of the yacht.

No formal contract was in place between the manager and the owner of the yacht, as the manager simply brought the two parties together on an informal basis.

After many delays with the commencement of the charter, the yacht owner claimed that the Master was both unsuitable for the size of the yacht and negligent in performing what was reasonably expected from him. As a result of his alleged negligence, the yacht owner sustained damages including the loss of the charter.

The yacht owner brought a claim and ITIC appointed lawyers to defend the member’s position. ITIC and the manager believed the claim to have been exaggerated, as it was not supported by any real evidence or documentation. However the claimant continued to pursue the claim.

The court held that the yacht manager had not properly checked the Master’s references and consequently the manager had not fulfilled their duty as they were requested to do. However, the court also held that there was no causation between the breach by the manager and the alleged damage. The court also held that the claimant could not prove, or sufficiently demonstrate, that had the references been properly checked and the Master screened, the results of that checking would not have led to the Master being chosen.

As a result the claim against the yacht manager was denied and the yacht owner was ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings.

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