Jury: Ship owner liable for captain’s death
The widow of the captain of the U.S.-flag tuna boat MAJESTIC BLUE was awarded $3.2 million by a jury at a trial in the U.S. District Court in Guam for the death of her husband in June 2010. The jury found that the owner of the vessel, Majestic Blue Fisheries, LLC, was negligent in sending an unseaworthy vessel to sea. The findings of fact by the court are as follows:
- the Vessel was generally unseaworthy due to its aforesaid condition,
- the owner knew specifically of the unseaworthy conditions manifesting itself at the rudder stock with an excessive and constant leak,
- the owner knew of the incompetency of the crew which lacked training, experience, a common language, communication skills, and basic emergency skills, and
- the owner knew that the Captain it provided the Majestic Blue was a mere figurehead-a ship master with no real authority.