Calls to Update Maritime Laws
Maritime Partner Vincent Foley was cited in a New York Times article titled, "Calls to Update Maritime Laws."
Although lawmakers in Washington are fixed on the legal and financial fallout of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on BP and firms like Transocean, the operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank in April, a flurry of legislation in Congress could also have sweeping consequences for other industries that work at sea. For example, there are bills in both the Senate and the House that would repeal a law Transocean has cited to cap some of its liabilities. The Limitation of Liability Act limits the total liability of a vessel's owner, apart from pollution-related claims, to the vessel's value, including any money owed to its owner, after an accident like a sinking. Mr. Foley said that repealing the law would have consequences far beyond Transocean because the statute was routinely used by operators of vessels like cargo ships, freighters, barges and tug boats.