Decision ID: 003559

In June 2009 the 1992 Fund Executive Committee took note of a decision rendered in the same month by the United States Court of Appeal in New York in an action taken by the Spanish State against the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the classification society of the Prestige, requesting compensation for all damage caused by the incident. It was recalled that the Federal Court of first instance in New York had in a decision delivered in January 2008 considered that ABS fell within the category of ‘other persons’ performing services for the ship under Article III.4(b) of the 1992 Civil Liability Convention and had held that under Article IX of the Convention Spain could only make claims against ABS in its own courts and that for these reasons the Court had dismissed the Spanish State’s claim. The Executive Committee noted that the Court of Appeal had reversed both the dismissal of Spain’s case and the dismissal of ABS’s counterclaims, which the Court of first instance had held did not fall under an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. It was also noted that the Court of Appeal had given the Court of first instance fairly explicit guidance as to the issues that needed to be addressed.

Date: 31.05.2009
Categories: Legal actions, Application of the Conventions
Subjects: Jurisdictional issues, Channelling provisions under Article III.4 of the 1969 and 1992 Civil Liability Conventions, Jurisdictional issues, Judgements in respect of the channelling provisions in Article III.4(b) of the 1992 Civil Liability Convention, Legal actions against third parties