We would like to thank Gordon Connell for speaking at March’s luncheon. Here are a few pictures from the event.
Snapshot of Upcoming Events
Thursday, May 7, 2015 ~ Monthly Luncheon ~ Timpano Chop House Fort Lauderdale
Saturday June 14, 2015 ~ Dinner Cruise with Sun Dream Yacht Charters
Click on the Events Calendar for complete details of each event
What's Newsworthy This Month
The Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club is happy to announce that we will be a sponsor at the 7th Annual Spinathon. We invite everyone to come check it out. Here are the details:
FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR PER PACKAGE LIMITATION LIVES ON
By Daniel W. Raab, Esq.
The package limitation continues to be litigated under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. An example of this is a case that was decided on May 13th, 2014 entitled Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC v. M/V VEGALAND, 21 F.Supp.3d 816 ( 2014).
In this particular case, the Plaintiff sent industrial machinery from Genoa, Italy to Houston, TX. The type of machine in question was a 63- ton tilt drive industrial machine for installation which was sent by Outokumpu Stainless USA to its facility in Alabama. The particular piece of equipment was prepared at Siemens-VAI Metal Technologies location. The value of the machinery was not declared by the shipper. When the ship transporting the machinery, the M/V VEGALAND, reached the Port of Houston, the cargo was found tipped over and on its side in damaged condition.
Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed in admiralty claiming $566,740.80 in damages to this machine which is also referred to as a melt shop. During the course of the litigation, both the Plaintiff and Defendant filed Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. The Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment to limit its damages to $500.00. The Plaintiff contested this assertion.
Judge Miller found that the packaging of the melt shop and the contents of the bill of lading were not in dispute. What is interesting is that the space for the number of packages was left blank on the bill of lading. The court noted that the melt shop was fully enclosed in a crate made of wooden slats and was attached to H-beams in order to facilitate shipping. The Judge felt that the shipper had the best knowledge of the packing and that the shipper had the responsibility of declaring a higher value and was given the opportunity to do so by the Defendant. The Plaintiff contended that it did not have an opportunity to declare a higher value. The District Court rejected that argument and noted that there was a space in the bill of lading for declaring a higher value.
As a practical matter, shippers rarely declare a higher value on a bill of lading as it is usually less expensive to purchase cargo insurance. The court also stated that the incorporation of a published tariff within the bill of lading also adequately gave notice regarding a chance to declare a higher value.
The Plaintiff also asserted that there was a geographic deviation and that this would negate the $500.00 per package limitation. Such a deviation must be unreasonable and cause material damage to the cargo interest. The court did not find that the Plaintiff had established a genuine issue of material fact on this issue as it referred to its tariff on its website to rebut this contention. As the Judge found that the crate was a package, there was an opportunity to declare a higher value and there was no deviation, he issued a Summary Judgment for $500.00 in favor of the Defendant.
When litigating a case under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, it is a good strategy to test the $500.00 per package limitation early on before other types of discovery need to be done on liability. The parties should find out early on the amount of the damages at issue. In this case, the court felt that the parties were dealing with a $500.00 case not one for $566,740.80. This decision also demonstrates why it is a good practice for a shipper to purchase cargo insurance.
Daniel W. Raab, Esq. is an attorney with offices in Miami, Florida and handles cases throughout the State of Florida.
Nautical Dates in April
April 18, 1988 Operation Praying Mantis- In the largest naval engagement since WWII, the US Navy defeated Iranian Naval forces in the retaliation for the mining of the USS Samuel S Roberts during a patrol mission.
April 20, 1917 Second Battle of Dover Strait- was a naval battle of the First World War, fought in the Dover Strait. Royal Navy Destroyers defeated German torpedo boats.
April 27, 1865 On the Mississippi River, the worst steamship disaster in US History occurred as an explosion aboard the “Sultana” killed nearly 2,000 passengers, mostly Union soldiers who had been prisoners of war were returning home.
Items of Interest
-Please submit your newsletter ideas and items of interest -Please email childhood photos of yourself or other members
A Side Note to All… For a number of years now, the club has made it a practice to send all communications to our members via email. Recently a number of club members have expressed that they are having problems receiving some or all club emails. If you have any reason to believe that you are not receiving these emails please check the following:
1. Your membership profile
• Log into your membership profile through the club website: www.ftlmc.org • Check to see that your email and other contact information in your profile is correct. • Check to see that the it says “Yes” next to “Allow Club Email”
If you are having trouble logging in or don’t recall your log in username or password, please contact the First Mate, Bryan Emond, for assistance. (Contact information below.)
2. Your email spam filter setting
• Make sure the email address below is on your spam filter’s list of allowed addresses. • Be sure to add the email address below to your “safe sender” or “white list” with your e-mail provider. firstname.lastname@example.org • Make sure the following IP addresses are listed in your email system’s “white list”: 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168
If you have checked the items above and are still having trouble receiving emails, please the First Mate, Bryan Emond, for assistance.
Bryan Emond FLMC First Mate email@example.com 954-777-4790
The Ft. Lauderdale Mariners Club Proudly Supports:
Boys & Girls Club of Broward County Fort Lauderdale Sea Cadets, Spruance Division Marine Industries Association of South Florida MIASF Waterway Cleanup MIASF Plywood Regatta ReThink + ReUse Center South Broward High School Skills USA Program Seafarer’s House Fort Lauderdale Shake-A-Leg Miami Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association