Charterers & Traders 08 Dec, 2021

Charterers & Traders Claims Example: Cargo, passenger claims, property damage, salved bunkers - Fire

A ro-ro passenger ferry was time chartered by the Member. A fire started inside one of decks during a voyage from Greece to Italy. The ferry carried passengers, cars and trucks laden with cargo. The vessel became incapacitated from the fire; passengers had to be evacuated. Unfortunately, during the incident there were fatalities and injuries to some of the passengers. The vessel was towed to Italy. 


The Member had issued passenger tickets and truck tickets as contractual carrier. Charterers’ liability from the incident was complex and had several heads of claim: fatal passenger claims, non-fatal passenger claims, burnt out vehicles, damaged cargo, charterers’ crew claims, charterers’ property claims, salved bunkers, claimed loss of vessel, disposal costs and significant legal costs. 

The Club worked with the Member’s operational team, external legal and technical experts to mobilise a response strategy. The Club and Members created a centralised system monitoring incoming claims and cataloguing important data. Claims in multiple jurisdictions were presented against charterers. The Club and legal counsel assisted to negotiate early settlement where appropriate and possible, or defended those claims in litigation. 

The Club adopted a coordinated approach with the owners’ Club to maintain a consistent approach in claims handling and settlement.