W. SEAN O'NEIL, Attorney at Law

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February 2012

Court - untimely petition for limitation of liability

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a vessel owner's petition for exoneration from or limitation of liability was untimely.  Plaintiff seaman filed a complaint against defendant vessel owner in state court based on injuries incurred on board defendant's vessel.  Defendant did not file its petition for exoneration from or limitation of liability until more than eight months later.  The court ruled that plaintiff's state court complaint provided defendant with notice that there was a reasonable possibility that the damages sought would exceed the value of the vessel, even though plaintiff did not seek a sum certain in the complaint.  In re Eckstein Marine Service, No. 10-20600 (5th Cir., February 22, 2012).

Above reprinted with permission from Dennis L. Bryant: http://brymar-consulting.com