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Showing posts from January, 2012

COSTA CONCORDIA Developments--P&I Comments, Operator Promises and Suits Filed

Lloyd's List reports that the ship COSTA CONCORDIA is part entered in the Steamship Mutual, on a 50/50 quota share with the Standard Club. Steamship Mutual has defended Carnival, Costa Cruises’ parent company, in a letter sent to members stating that over the years, the company has more than paid its way in premium to cover the cost of this casualty.
I have been asked how liability claims will be paid. Lloyd's List reports that the first $10 million is covered by Carnival’s $10 million deductible. From there, both Clubs will reportedly pay $4 million each before claims are then taken to the International Group pool of $60 million and on to reinsurers. It is reported that there has been much market speculation over how high the eventual P&I claim will be, with some arguing it could reach $1 billion.
More on this article can be viewed at
Lloyd's List also reports that Costa Crociere has offered to pay uninjure…

BP Can’t Collect Part of Gulf Spill Costs From Transocean

Bloomberg News issues breaking news that in the case of In Re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans ruled yesterday that BP Plc ("BP") cannot collect from Transocean Ltd. ('Transocean") part of the $40 billion in cleanup costs and economic losses caused by the 2010 DEEPWATER HORIZON oil well blowout and Gulf of Mexico spill.

Readers of this Blog and who attended my seminar in London on this tragedy will recall that London-based BP sued Transocean in April to recover a share of its damages and costs from the spill. BP said that the contract required indemnification even if there was gross negligence and obviously, BP disagreed.

Judge Barbier wrote in his decision: “BP is required to indemnify Transocean for compensatory damages asserted by third parties against Transocean related to pollution that did not originate on or above the surface of the water, even if the claim is the result of Tran…

The Money Judgments Recognition Act Can Only Be Used as a Shield Not a Sword

In the case of Chevron Corp. v. Donziger, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that New York's Uniform Foreign Country Money-Judgments Recognition Act does not provide a potential judgment debtor a cause of action to challenge foreign judgments before enforcement of those judgments is sought. Thus, putative judgment debtors have no standing to bring such preemptive suits against the holders of judgments.

Following about 30 years of oil extraction in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Ecuadorians brought a variety of claims against the company and obtained judgment in Ecuador. Chevron, a potential judgment-debtor, brought action under New York’s Uniform Foreign Country Money-Judgments Recognition Act, N.Y. C.P.L.R. 5301-5309, which allows judgment-creditors to enforce foreign judgments in New York courts, seeking a global anti-enforcement injunction against the Ecuadorians and their attorney to prohibit attempts to enforce the allegedly-fraudulent judgment entered by the Ecua…

COSTA CONCORDIA Reportedly May Have Had a Steering System Failure

I received from a good friend a great link that tracks the movement of the COSTA CONCORDIA which can be viewed at this site =>

If you review the tracking and the article that follows, it is suggested that when Captain Schettino was attempting his close pass to "wave" to the people on the island on the ship's port side, the ship was going too fast when it initiated the turn. As a result, the navigation data shows that the turn initiated by the Captain came too late and weak, which may indicate a steering failure before the first hit. It is argued that this idea is reinforced by the fact that the Captain did not try to back down hard instead of just utilizing the rudder to quickly turn the ship.

It would be interesting to hear other's views on this latest suggestion.

If you are interested in contact me, please feel free to do so at

Antillean Marine Given $1 Million Fine

WTVJ-TV (Channel 6, Miami, Florida) reports on Friday, January 20, 2012 that on that date, Judge Adalberto Jordan sentenced American Marine Management Services, operating as Antillean Marine, a fixture on the Miami River, to a $1,000,000 fine and five years probation for oil pollution and ballast water crimes. The Coast Guard discovered that the TITAN EXPRESS, a ship operated by the company, was leaking excessive oil and fuel from its engine. The Coast Guard said it became aware that the oily water separator did not operate properly and that it gave inconsistent readings. There was also oil inside of the ship's separator.

Referencing the pollution claims, officials say that the company's "oil record book" had several made-up entries and that the book did not efficiently account for the TITAN EXPRESS' waste. Another logbook in the engine room had a note written by an engineer that said, "Always pump out the bilge water. When finished, wash the pump with sea w…

Cruise Ship Runs Aground: At Least 3 Dead

The Miami Herald today reports that the COSTA CONCORDIA with 4,200 people aboard ran aground off the Tuscan coast. It is reported that three people are confirmed dead, with locals reporting that there potentially more. Helicopters are evaculating another 50 people still aboard the ship.

The ship reportedly grounded a few hundred yards off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio. Nearby reports I have received from people close to the scene state that the vessel has now capsized.

If you are interested in receiving a complete copy of the Miami Herald article or wish to reach me, you may do so by contacting me at

$10,000 Bond Set for Cruise Ship Rape Suspect

The Miami Herald on January 8, 2012 reports that Judge Hurley has set bond at $10,000 for a Brazilian man, Luiz Scavone, arrested on accusations that he raped a 15-year-old Iowa girl Tuesday on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. Judge Hurley imposed strict travel restrictions on Scavone, who was taken into custody upon arriving at Port Everglades on Tuesday on one count of lewd and lascivious battery. Judge Hurley also ordered that Scavone relinquish his passport and if freed on bail, Scavone must wear an electronic monitoring device and stay away from airports and ports.

According to the arrest report, the victim met a boy at a teen club aboard the ALLURE OF THE SEAS. The victim states that the boy invited her to a private party, but when the victim arrived to the boy's room, only Scavone was present. The victim states that the boy and Scavone sexually attacked her. The victim immediately reported the incident to ship officials. Royal Caribbean in turn, immediately reported the claim…

Michelle Otero Valdes No Longer at Houck Anderson, P.A.

Dear Family, Friends and Regular Readers to this Blog,

Best wishes to you all for 2012! I predict great things for this year.

Effective immediately, I have separated from Houck Anderson, P.A. and have relocated temporarily to the following address:

141 Almeria Avenue
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
Tel: 305 978 8345
Fax: 786 594 0187

Please continue writing to me at or

Michelle Otero Valdés