Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Thanked 46 Times in 43 Posts
Rep Power: 12
Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...
Keep an eye peeled at the 6-month anniversary or a few days before, for the possibility (likelihood?) that Bounty's owner will file a Petition for Limitation of Liability in federal court somewhere.
If so it would be tactically advantageous for owners and underwriters to keep all fault "on board" and none on shore, because any of the latter can create "privity" by owners to the faults or unseaworthiness of the vessel or crew--and destroy their chances to limit their liability to the value of Bounty post-sinking, that is, zero.
Doubtful that none of the fault, at least in the condition of the ship, generators, pumps, etc wasn't known or caused by owners/managers, but to keep that chance of limitation alive, they would tend tactically to push all fault onto the errors of an otherwise trained, experienced, and qualified captain and crew, on a properly-maintained and seaworthy ship, and not known by or created by managers on shore.
Along with the limitation action will probably come a plea for "exoneration" from fault based on Act of God. So, no fault, or if there was fault, it was not fault of the shore people.
I am not giving a legal opinion on this case here, just advising what the law is and how it might be used, and how it might affect the motives of the parties in interest and witnesses in the hearing.