The Cargo Letter

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Section A: Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News|
Section B: FF World Air News |
Section C: FF World Ocean News | Section D: FF in Cyberspace |
Section E: The Forwarder Broker World

OUR "E" Section...

The Forwarder/Broker World

New Transport Related Legal Cases

Wallis Vs. Princess Cruises, Inc. 
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 24, 2002
Passenger Damages: Recoverable damages for a passenger's death after a fall from a cruise ship will not be limited, where a contract clause's mere reference to the "Convention Relating to the Carriage of Passengers & Their Luggage by Sea" did not reasonably communicate a liability limitation. Findlaw.

Hosaka Vs. United Airlines, Inc.. 
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 18, 2002 

Civil Procedure: Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention, granting plaintiffs an alternative choice of forum in action for damages resulting from Int'l aviation accident, overrides the discretionary power of the federal courts to dismiss an action for forum non conveniens (i.e. "inconvenient place for conduct of the trial). Metropolitan News

Martinez v. Signature Seafoods 
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 11, 2002 

Jones Act: Seaworthy fish processing barge towed across navigable waters twice a year can qualify as a "vessel in navigation" for certain purposes of the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. § 688. Admiralty Law Guide

Ventura Packers v. F/V Jeanine Kathleen 
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 11, 2002 

Maritime Liens/Admiralty Jurisdiction: Federal Maritime Lien Act, 46 U.S.C. § 31342, establishes statutory elements, which if met, invoke admiralty jurisdiction of federal courts. District court therefore erred in dismissing plaintiff's necessaries lien claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, which dismissal was based on a finding that the contract between plaintiff & vessel interests was not wholly maritime and that its maritime portion could not be severed from its non-maritime portion without prejudice to the vessels. Although this finding was correct, the Federal Maritime Lien Act provides independent basis for subject matter jurisdiction where plaintiff, as here, has provided necessaries to a vessel. Admiralty Law Guide

Carretti Vs. Italpast 
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 10, 2002 

Civil Procedure- Plaintiff failed to show Italian manufacturer doing business in Italy had sufficient contacts with California to support general jurisdiction where plaintiff purchased some of defendant’s products in Italy to resell in California but defendant had no offices or employees in the state and did not advertise in California publications, and no specific jurisdiction existed under the stream-of-commerce theory based on sales to California-based distributor since defendant did not cultivate California sales and since sale of product used in California was conducted in Italy. Metropolitan News

Britton v. U.S.S Great Lakes Fleet 
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 9, 2002 

Maintenance & Cure: Where seaman is required to provide pre-employment medical information, & he intentionally misrepresents or conceals material medical facts, he is not entitled to award of maintenance & cure if the injury incurred is causally linked to the concealed medical condition. However, the employer must show that non-disclosed medical information was material to its decision to hire the seaman to successfully defend against maintenance & cure. Since there was an issue of fact in this case whether the non-disclosed condition was material to the owner's decision to hire plaintiff, the district court erred in dismissing plaintiff's claim on motion for summary judgment. Seaworthiness: Unseaworthiness is a claim under general maritime law based on vessel owner’s duty to ensure that vessel is reasonably fit to be at sea. Warranty of seaworthiness requires that ship, including hull, decks, & machinery, be reasonably fit for purpose for which they are used. Plaintiff's allegation that vessel was unseaworthy because shortage of crew available to open stairwell covers & vent hatches, which lead to his having to perform those tasks alone resulting in his back injury, was sufficient to raise issue of fact to be resolved by a jury. Jones Act: Plaintiff's allegation that health care provider assigned by owner failed to exercise due care when reassigning plaintiff back to work was a sufficient allegation of Jones Act negligence to be resolved by a jury.  Admiralty Law Guide.

Grosse Ile Bridge Co. v. American Steamship 
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 9, 2002 

Collisions/Casualties: On Sept. 6, 1992, the M/V H. Lee White, 700ft cargo vessel carrying 67 million pounds of iron ore, struck Grosse Ile Toll Bridge, a pivot-swinging drawbridge on Trenton Channel of Detroit River. District court properly found bridge was at fault for not timely swinging the bridge open. District court erred, however, in absolving vessel from any fault. Once Capt. of the vessel decided to stop short of bridge by reversing engines, it was unreasonable to delay dropping port-bow anchor which could have stopped vessel short of bridge. Admiralty Law Guide

Bianco v. Georgia Pacific Co. 
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 3, 2002 

Longshore & Harbor Workers' Act: To be eligible for benefits under Act, work-related injury must occur "upon navigable waters of the U.S. (including any adjoining pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, building way, marine railway, or other adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling, or building a vessel)." 33 U.S.C. § 903(a). Although claimant was injured at sheet rock production plant that adjoined navigable waters of the U.S., location of her injury was not in area customarily used by employer in loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel. Claimant was therefore not covered by Act. Admiralty Law Guide.

U.S. Tax Treatment For "Foreign Sales Corporations" ........... report concerning decision of the arbitrator in case against the U.S. brought before the WTO by the European Community. The arbitrator concluded that the tax breaks the U.S. offers producers was harming EU trade & allowed the EU to impose sanctions as it sees fit. 


The Cargo Letter Correspondents:
Michael S. McDaniel, Esq., Editor (Countryman & McDaniel).
Cameron W. Roberts, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)

Please click below for other sections:
Section A: Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News|
Section B: FF World Air News |
Section C: FF World Ocean News | Section D: FF in Cyberspace |
Section E: The Forwarder Broker World

Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News Lloyds & other world sources.

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