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Questions on The Liability of Classification Societies. Responsibility or recovery?

Posch, Martin (2004)
Department of Law
Abstract
The main question raised is if it is possible to hold a classification society liable, if performing their surveys in an unacceptable matter, and on which grounds. The question is effected by the specific rules and regulations concerning safety at sea, as well as general contract and tort law. After a presentation of the liability theories that possibly could be used as a reason for a liability, the problems and possibilities are exemplified with four cases, two American and two British. The main problem that a cargo or ship owner has faced until recent years is the unwillingness of the industry and outmost the courts to recognise a liability on the classification industry. This has been mainly based on maritime law specific arguments,... (More)
The main question raised is if it is possible to hold a classification society liable, if performing their surveys in an unacceptable matter, and on which grounds. The question is effected by the specific rules and regulations concerning safety at sea, as well as general contract and tort law. After a presentation of the liability theories that possibly could be used as a reason for a liability, the problems and possibilities are exemplified with four cases, two American and two British. The main problem that a cargo or ship owner has faced until recent years is the unwillingness of the industry and outmost the courts to recognise a liability on the classification industry. This has been mainly based on maritime law specific arguments, often referred to as ''policy grounds'' in the cases. It is clear that we see a introduction of more general contract and tort law considerations, and in the two more recent cases a liability also has been recognised against a classification society for work done in an unacceptable matter, in personal injury, as well as economic loss. If the responsibilities of a classification society after an accident are not made clearer and the parties suffering harm (economic or personal) for relying on a negligent classification statement, never can recover, it will be the end of the classification system as we know it today. The classification industry can bear a liability wider than today's, but only in conjunction with clearer and more harmonised rules on how to approve new designs or control the existing ones, in-between the societies. Nobody wants a collapse of the existing system, as little as unhealthy competition from substandard classification societies, who are willing to certify anything, that at least at the moment of classification is floating. (Less)
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author
Posch, Martin
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Sjörätt
language
English
id
1561342
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:28
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:28
@misc{1561342,
  abstract     = {The main question raised is if it is possible to hold a classification society liable, if performing their surveys in an unacceptable matter, and on which grounds. The question is effected by the specific rules and regulations concerning safety at sea, as well as general contract and tort law. After a presentation of the liability theories that possibly could be used as a reason for a liability, the problems and possibilities are exemplified with four cases, two American and two British. The main problem that a cargo or ship owner has faced until recent years is the unwillingness of the industry and outmost the courts to recognise a liability on the classification industry. This has been mainly based on maritime law specific arguments, often referred to as ''policy grounds'' in the cases. It is clear that we see a introduction of more general contract and tort law considerations, and in the two more recent cases a liability also has been recognised against a classification society for work done in an unacceptable matter, in personal injury, as well as economic loss. If the responsibilities of a classification society after an accident are not made clearer and the parties suffering harm (economic or personal) for relying on a negligent classification statement, never can recover, it will be the end of the classification system as we know it today. The classification industry can bear a liability wider than today's, but only in conjunction with clearer and more harmonised rules on how to approve new designs or control the existing ones, in-between the societies. Nobody wants a collapse of the existing system, as little as unhealthy competition from substandard classification societies, who are willing to certify anything, that at least at the moment of classification is floating.},
  author       = {Posch, Martin},
  keyword      = {Sjörätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Questions on The Liability of Classification Societies. Responsibility or recovery?},
  year         = {2004},
}