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Showing posts from December, 2012

11th Circuit Affirms Judgment For Stevedores

A $3.5 million jury verdict against Miami-Dade County and a declaration that a county ordinance regulating stevedores was unconstitutional were affirmed Friday morning by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The decision means that Florida Transportation Service Inc., which complained it was unfairly denied a permit to operate at the Port of Miami in 2003, 2004 and 2005, will collect a total $4 million in damages from the county.

 "The permitting practices did not further, but if anything rather disserved, the county's purported purposes and benefits," said the opinion by U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Hull, Senior Judge Emmett Ripley Cox and U.S. District Judge Donald Walter of Louisiana sitting by designation.

 U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan (who now sits in the Eleventh Circuit) in Miami ruled in 2008 that the ordinance on stevedores interfered with interstate commerce. Jordan ruled the county ordinance guaranteed work for the nine existing stevedore comp…

Florida Judgment in Favor of NMMA

The Daily Business Review reports that Florida's Third District Court of Appeals in a ruling dated December 19th affirmed  a summary final judgment in favor of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
The recreational boat industry trade group, a participant in the 2008 Miami International Boat Show, parked several tractor trailers on a lot owned by the city of Miami Beach under a temporary license and use agreement signed with the city's housing authority. On February 7, 2008, David Collins entered the lot, climbed under a parked trailer and fell asleep. A truck driver for the association, who didn't know anyone was under the trailer, hitched it to his truck and pulled out, running over and fatally injuring Collins.
Collins' mother, Constance Ryan, sued the trade group and the truck driver, alleging he was negligent in failing to "check around and under the tractor-trailer so as to avoid striking a pedestrian in the vicinity." However, a toxicology repo…

Passenger Safety Rules Likely to Change Due to Costa Concordia

The IMO has been looking at passenger safety at its latest sessions – and according to new rules on cruise ship safety to emerge from IMO MSC91, it seems that in light of the Costa Concordia, passenger safety drills must take place before or straight after the ship departs.

At its meeting last month, the IMO’s maritime safety committee approved draft amendments to chapter III of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention to require newly embarked passengers to be put through muster immediately, instead of “within 24 hours” as the current regulations require for ships whose passengers will remain on board for more than 24 hours. If 24 hours is a long time in politics – it can be a lifetime in shipping – and when the Concordia grounded, it was clear that change was needed. The draft amendments will now be circulated for consideration, with a view to being adopted at the next session, MSC 92, in June 2013, and could enter into force at the end of 2014.
The preliminary investigation into …

Prior Opinions Precluding Arbitration of Seaman's Suits Continue

In ESTIBEIRO v. CARNIVAL CORPORATION, 23 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. D375a (S.D. Fla.Oct. 2, 2012) (J.Seitz), the Southern District of Florida has again found that an arbitration clause in a seaman's employment contract, which required that the arbitration of claims must be held in Bermuda, unless the Bermuda venue provision is found legally unenforceable, was valid and enforceable. A seaman had brought his Jones Act claims and claims for maintenance and cure against his cruise ship employer, alleging he sustained damage to his heart muscle as result of an alleged failure to administer medication in a timely manner after he suffered a heart attack while working on cruise ship. The plaintiff brought the case in federal court, alleging that the amendment to the Jones Act which deleted the statute's venue provision rendered the Bermuda forum selection clause unlawful and contrary to public policy. The district court disagreed and found that the arbitration clause was neither substantivel…