The judges noted the leak was caused by deficient maintenance which the court found the crew did not know about.The captain was accused of disobeying government authorities who wanted the 26-year-old tanker as far from the coast as possible. The court found that decision to be a correct one.
Spain also attempted to sue the classification society ABS for the condition of the ship, but failed to win that attempt. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that Spain did not provide sufficient evidence to take the case back to trial and clearing ABS of all charges. That court stated: "We conclude that we need not resolve the question whether a classification society may be held liable in tort to a third party such as Spain for reckless conduct in connection with the classification of vessels. Rather, we assume arguendo for purposes of this appeal that Defendants did owe the claimed duty to Spain. In our view, Spain has nonetheless failed to adduce sufficient evidence to create a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether Defendants recklessly breached that duty such that their actions constituted a proximate cause of the wreck of the Prestige."
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