Bounty Lawsuit Filed - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 52 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

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Originally Posted by Roger Long View Post
...The ship wasn't perfect but was legal and adequate for what she was doing aside from heading into a hurricane...
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show?


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post #22 of 52 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

IMHP The good that will come out of it is the CG is going to be far less likely to let boats slip through the classification loophole this one did

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post #23 of 52 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
James Wilson, as a lawyer can you comment this, I mean the possibility of a owner to be liable by the bad decisions of a captain?

Regards

Paulo
In this case, it appears the lawyer is proceeding under the Jones Act, the Death On the High Seas Act, common-law negligence and gross negligence recognized in admiralty/maritime law, and federal common-law allowing punitive damages.

Admiralty and maritime law are arcane specialities in the law. I claim no experience or expertise in this area. I also am not directly involved in personal injury or negligence cases. I have commented on this case as a recreational sailor, rather than as a lawyer.

Outside of maritime practice, negligent selection, negligent hiring, negligent instruction, and negligent supervision of employees and/or independent contractors are causes of action recognized in some jurisdictions. Principals are ordinarily responsible for the acts of their agents when acting within the scope of the agency.

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post #24 of 52 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

I would think the rest of the crew will sue too. They all have a case to compensate for pain and suffering.



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"grossly overestimated, to the point of recklessness, Bounty's seaworthiness and overestimated his professional seamanship and weather forecasting abilities to the point of arrogant hubris."
Couldn't have said it better.

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post #25 of 52 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

As much as I dislike my lawyers, since they and their firm suck my dry. I think in the Bounty case, the lawsuit is justified. In the case of Rule 62, I don't think it is justified.

But this is just me. YMMV.


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post #26 of 52 Old 05-10-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

I knew one of the two attorneys on the complaint, from his time down here in New Orleans some years ago with an admiralty defense firm before heading to New York and plaintiffs' work. Both of them are New York Maritime Academy graduates and have sailed as merchant officers (one engineer, one deck) so they know what they're about.

I'm unaware if Bounty has filed a Limitation petition anywhere, but expect they would raise it as a defense in this New York action. Typically plaintiffs attempt to prove knowledge of unseaworthy conditions (in both vessel and crew) by those managing from shore, while defendants contend any negligence or unseaworthiness occurred "on board" and beyond their knowledge. Hence you see allegations that the captain here should have been replaced earlier based in part on his statements about hurricane-chasing, and the stated problems with hull and pumps were known ashore and not just by those on ship.
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post #27 of 52 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

As posted on another thread;
"Whether it's a sail boat, America's Cup yacht, commercial fishing boat, tug boat or mega-yacht; if you don't take the job, someone else will. Period. If it's your profession and you have a family to support, you will quickly be black-listed if you seek only the perfect boats. It doesn't matter whether you are cook or captain; there are hundreds of folks out there who will gladly take your position.
When the Bounty was lost many felt that something should be done. The company has been strangely silent; perhaps the captain was given little choice on when the boat needed to be in Florida?"
I am in no way saying the decision to sail the Bounty into Sandy was a good one, or that I would have done so under the same circumstances; in fact I would not, at the expense of my job; I am scared of hurricanes! I have been in quite a few and would never willingly do it again. Therefore we leave St. Thomas for Grenada next week.
But back to topic.
IMO $50 million is an obscene amount. To take the annual earning potential of a 42 year old woman times the number of productive years she would have had, might be a reasonable amount, especially if her daughter was the mother's sole support, which I doubt she was. The mother made a statement soon after the incident, that at least her daughter died doing something she loved. Now she's diminishing her daughter's memory IMO, for money; do you think the daughter would approve? I wonder how $50 million dollars will make up for the loss of a child? A rather poor trade in my book.
It is almost impossible for an American to find a position aboard a non American flag vessel these days! The reason; we are too litigious. Even many of the mega-yachts out there today, owned by Americans, will not hire American citizens for the same reason. I know this for a fact, it is NOT conjecture. I am glad my professional career is winding down, for most of captain's positions I have had (that allowed me grand adventures world wide, while being paid, sometimes handsomely) would NOT be available to me today just because of my nationality. For instance, I was hired to run a motor yacht for the Queen of England on her silver jubilee visit to Papua New Guinea.
From the woman who knowingly put a hot cup of coffee between her legs while driving a car and collected millions to $50 million dollars for the loss of a child under admittedly tragic circumstances, we should not condone a continuation of this practice. Must every sailboat owner and/or captain carry around a release of liability contract and pen, to be signed by every person that even walks the dock or drives a dinghy near our boats? BALDERDASH.

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post #28 of 52 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

I agree that the US tort system is designed by lawyers for the benefit of lawyers. It's not rational.

However, the claim amount may be unrelated to the actual awarded or settled damages. It's just a game of chicken right now.


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post #29 of 52 Old 05-11-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

As Marcia Clark, Chris Darden or Gil Goretti about slam dunks in the US judicial system.

Cant get money out of the dead Captain and up to now the owner has taken the fifth amendment. So now we will find out how much the owner was at fault at least.


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post #30 of 52 Old 05-12-2013
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Re: Bounty Lawsuit Filed

Criminal and civil courts are two entirely different beasts. OJ was found guilty in civil court.


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