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Showing posts from November, 2011

In-House Attorneys Feel Targeted by Hyper Regulation

The Daily Business Report has an excellent article, wherein they report that key players, including corporate counsel, are increasingly finding themselves under intense regulatory scrutiny. As a result, in-house lawyer liability for corporate misconduct is edging up.

It is reported that between six and nine criminal or civil and administrative cases are brought against  companies' top attorney every year. However panelists at the Association of Corporate Counsel annual meeting in Denver were unable to agree on the severity of the problem. Some have suggested that the job of general counsel is not safe. Others counter than the SEC is not on a witch-hunt for inside lawyers. Nevertheless, regulatory and economic pressures on in-house lawyers are underlying themes across many of the annual meeting's 80-plus panels and other events.

Corporate counsel were generally considered exempt from scrutiny, as they were considered a corporation's legal advisers. However, corporate counse…

Major Expansion of Cuba's Mariel Port

The Caribbean Maritime magazine has published in their "Grapevine" section for October-December 2011 that the Cuban Port of Mariel is undergoing a major expansion. Mariel, 28 miles west of Havana, is the largest port on the north coast of Cuba, second only to Havana. The first stage of the port development reportedly involves the construction of 765 yards of berthing space. This is expected to be completed by 2014. When completed, the terminal will have an annual capacity of about 850,000 teu, compared with Havana's 350,000 teu.

It is reported that all industrial port facilities of the Port of Havana will be moved to Mariel so as to free Havana harbor to handle cruise ships and recreational boating activity. Once this is accomplished, the industrial land area near the Port of Havana will be redeveloped for tourist and eco-friendly uses.

Mariel is tapped to be the location for logistics facilities for offshore oil exploration and will have a container terminal, cargo stor…

Man Thrown from Boat Recovers Little for Injuries

The Daily Business Review reports today that in the case of Trivision v. Chabrier, a jury awarded only $403 to a passenger who was thrown from a boat. In 2005, Richard Trivision, 45 years old at the time of the accident, allowed his friend Linda Chabrier, to operate his boat. Trivision claimed Chabrier was not paying proper attention, failed to avoid a large wake and that Chabrier should not have got behind the helm if she could not properly operate the vessel. Trivision claimed a herniated cervical disc, a lumbar disc protrusion and a torn labrum in each shoulder resulting from the accident.

The defense claimed the wake came out of nowhere and could not be avoided. Chabrier also claimed Trivision was negligent for allowing her to operate his boat, since he had more experience that her. The defense also argued that Trivision's injuries were caused by his age and excessive weight and also pointed out gaps in his medical treatment. Trivision was found 10% liable for the accident, r…

Family of Man Who Died on Cruise Settles for $250k

The Daily Business Review reports on November 10, 2011 that in the case of Estate of Racoma v. Ocean Development LLC in Palm Beach Circuit Court, a family recovered a $250,000 settlement for a man who died while on a cruise. In 2008, Phil Racoma, 78, suffered a cardiac arrest and died. His family claimed that the vessel owner Platinum Real Estate, vessel operator Ocean Development and its officers failed to timely treat the man. The family claimed that there was no automated external defibrillator on board the ship, which was alleged to be standard on most cruise ships, and the ship never radioed the US Coast Guard for help.

The defense claimed that Racoma failed to take his medication before going on the ship and would have died regardless of any resuscitation efforts because of his advanced age and heart conditions. The parties settled after the defendants filed for bankruptcy.

If you are interested in receiving the small clip on the article from the Daily Business Review or wish to…

Marine Insurance Policy Found to Be Void Ab Initio

In the case of State National Insurance Company v. Anzhela Explorer, L.L.C., 2011 WL 3703223 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 23, 2011), the trial court found that based on an insured's material non-disclosure concerning the Coast Guard’s assessed deficiencies in the water tight bulkhead systems of a 70' catamaran, there was a breach of duty of good faith or Uberrimae Fidei such that the policy was void ab initio. The court also held that the unsatisfactory condition of the water tight bulkhead system rendered the vessel unseaworthy at the time coverage was bound, therefore violating the absolute warranty of seaworthiness at the time of policy inception. Because the court found the policy void ab initio,  it held that such a finding provides a complete affirmative defense to the insured’s breach of contract counterclaim.

Plaintiff, State National Insurance Company (“State National”) filed an eleven (11) count complaint for a declaratory judgment against Defendants, Anzhela Explorer L.L.C., Jeff…

Royal Caribbean's 3Q Net Income Rises 14%

On October 28, 2011, the Daily Business Review reports that Royal Caribbean Cruises' third-quarter net income climbed 14 percent, buoyed by stronger demand for Caribbean and Alaskan itineraries and people spending more onboard its ships. The cruise operator lowered its full-year earnings guidance to a level below analysts' expectations, citing the strengthening dollar and a fuel-related charge. But the Miami company says 2012 demand is solid so far, with pricing higher than it was this time a year ago.

Royal Caribbean reportedly earned $399 million, or $1.82 per share, for the period ending September 30th. This is better than its earnings of $350.2 million, or $1.61 million per share a year ago. Thus, third-quarter net yields, which measures the amount a cruise company makes from its passengers after removing expenses, climbed 5.3 percent.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the Daily Business Review article or wish to reach me, you may contact me at miamipandi@comcas…