Yacht purchaser’s claim

Yacht purchaser’s claim

A classification society surveyor had given an 80 foot steel hulled motor yacht a periodical special survey and had passed the yacht as “100 A1”.

The surveyor knew that a purchaser was interested in the yacht and that the purchaser had decided to rely on the class certificate as confirming the yacht’s good condition at the time of purchase. Subsequently, after delivery, the purchaser discovered substantial defects with the yacht which were enough to put the yacht out of class. The purchaser looked to the classification society to reimburse them for the substantial repair costs.

The classification society declined to reimburse the purchaser as the purchaser was not their client. Their client was the owner at the time of the survey, and the case went to court. The court accepted that the surveyor had been negligent. The court, however, decided that the classification society did not owe a duty of care to this purchaser, or indeed to any future purchaser of a ship who was likely to rely on their own pre-purchase survey.

The classification society successfully defended the claim.

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