Stolt-Nielsen has announced that the Court of Appeals affirmed by two to one the 2018 liability ruling by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, regarding the 2012 incident on the MSC Flaminia.
Stolt Tank Containers BV has been found at fault together with Deltech for 45 per cent and 55 per cent, respectively.
The ruling concerns the incident that took place on 14 July 2012, during which a fire broke out in cargo hold number four aboard the MSC Flaminia, during the ship’s crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
During the crew’s attempt to extinguish the fire, an explosion occurred. Stolt Tank Containers had 29 tank containers onboard the ship, three of which were stowed in cargo hold number four.
On 29 May 2013, the vessel interests, namely the owner, manager, and operator filed counter and crossclaims against Stolt Tank Containers and Deltech – the shipper of the three tank containers stowed in cargo hold number 4 – alleging that these tank containers were the cause of the fire, and that Stolt Tank Containers did not adequately warn of the inherently dangerous nature of the cargo.
The Phase 2 trial was completed in August 2018.
The US District Court for the Southern District of New York delivered a judgment on 10 September 2018, which held the Group jointly and severally liable with Deltech for the incident.
According to a recently released statement, Stolt-Nielsen said to be disappointed by the decision of the Court of Appeals upholding the lower court’s 2018 decision.
The company is currently assessing the legal and financial implications of the court’s decision, which included a dissenting opinion, and is considering further appeals and mitigations.
The potential liability for the full award is being assessed.
Stolt-Nielsen will record a loss provision related to the ruling in its second quarter financials, due to be reported on July 6, 2023, of $155 million, which net of tax will impact the company’s net profit for the quarter by approximately $115 million.
Stolt-Nielsen has liquidity in place to fund its potential liability and remains in a financially strong position, according to the company’s statement.