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Defense Verdict for Ship Managers Against Cruise Line

In Seven Seas Cruises v. V. Ships, case no. 09-CV-23411, the cruise line filed suit against their ship managers, V. Ships, alleging failures by V. Ships in maintaining 3 luxury cruise ships, the SEVEN SEAS NAVIGATOR, the SEVEN SEAS VOYAGER and the SEVEN SEAS MARINER, sailing for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The cruise line claimed V. Ships breached technical management and maintenance service contracts, causing increased maintenance and repairs costs, as well as lost profits. The shipowner brough claims for breach of oral contract and breach of the warranty of workmanlike performance.

The court dismissed certain plaintiffs and claims, leaving $20 million in claims involving the NAVIGATOR and VOYAGER, which operate in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The court found in favor of V. Ships, writing an extensive history of the cruise ships, the case and onboard management. Judge Ungaro noted the NAVIGATOR was a retrofitted Soviet ship that was rushed through an Italian shipyard in 2000. "Many spaces of the ship had become rusty or corroded during the 10 years the hull sat unfinished prior to the conversion and remained so at the time of delivery," the judge wrote in her 94-page order. The judge was dismayed by the plaintiff's case, writing that there was a "glaring failure of the evidence at trial" on the causation of damages. The court wrote "The court is unable to find that the claimed damages were even partiall caused by some action or inaction of V. Ships."

Post-verdict, V. Ships has announced they are preparing a motion to recover attorney's fees and costs. They are also considering seeking damages for statements made against V. Ships by the shipowner before the suit was filed.

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