Starr Indemnity Sues Maersk Over Maersk Eindhoven Container Loss, Says Report

Starr Indemnity has reportedly filed a suit in the Southern District, New York, against shipping major Maersk, asking for over $5.8 million in compensation, as subrogee of the retailer dubbed Target, for containers that were lost overboard.

The Maersk Eindhoven was among several container vessel casualties between the end of 2020 and the spring of 2021. It suffered a blackout that lasted four minutes in heavy seas on 16 February 2021. It was close to Japan, sailing from Xiamen in China to Southern California on the shipping line’s weekly TP6 Asia and US West Coast service.

Representation Image

The loss of manoeuvrability caused severe rolling, making the vessel lose nearly 260 containers overboard while 65 containers got damaged on the deck.

Maersk informed them that the initial analysis reflected that the 13,100 teu vessel’s engine oil pressure had triggered a safety feature, making the engines shut down. However, no malfunctions or maintenance glitches could be identified (IMN 23 February 2021). The analysis was confirmed later on.

Propulsion could be restored, and the vessel turned around and sailed to Yokohama in Japan. But stringent COVID-19 precautions were at their peak, and the ship had to wait for clearance to enter.

The Maersk Eindhoven incident was the sixth reported incident of the boxes lost at sea since 30 November 2020.

There were minor damages to the vessel, and the required welding was successfully executed in Yokohama. The ship eventually resumed its voyage to Los Angeles at the start of March.

The lawsuit mentions that, between 12 January and 4 February 2021, the cargo was successfully delivered to ports in Phnom Penh of Cambodia and Yaintan of Chia for transport onboard Maersk Eidenhoven to California. The plaintiff strongly believes that approximately 57 containers had been delivered to Maersk containing several consumer goods.

When Maersk Eidenhoven reached the designated discharge port, the suit stated that Maersk failed to discharge containers and deliver the cargo in proper shape. The plaintiff strongly believes the shipment had been lost overboard. The lawsuit reportedly alleges negligence/breach of duty by defendants Maersk and Maersk Eidenhoven.

The suit valued the cargo at more than $5.8 million, but the insurer said that it had not been paid for the cargo. The insurer further reserved the right to boost the value of loss while seeking a judgment against the vessel as well as Maersk.

Besides, Starr Indemnity has been asking the court to arrest the vessel and have it sold to satisfy the judgment. Legal specialists thought the case was most likely to be resolved by Maersk and insurers without requiring a case in the court.

The 141,716 gt 2010-built and Denmark-flagged Maersk Eindhoven at this incident was owned by Ocean Fei Shipping Ltd C/O Maersk AS of Copenhagen.

References: Insurance Marine News, Shipping Watch

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