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Big Maritime Decision from 11th Circuit!

Newport, Rhode Island: Big appellate decision just out from the 11th Circuit. It helps the boat owner by giving boat owners a chance to avoid the horribly difficult burdens imposed by the maritime law when it comes to marine insurance claims. The decision begins like this:

This case concerns the demise of the M/Y My Lady, a 92-foot Hatteras yacht. Ocean Reef, the owner of the M/Y My Lady, insured it with Travelers for a one-year term from October of 2016 to October of 2017. The 2016-17 policy, a renewal of annual policies issued in the two prior years, contained two express warranties that are at issue in this case. First, the captain warranty required Ocean Reef to employ a full-time professional captain approved by Travelers: “It is warranted you employ a professional captain for the yacht . . . Such captain shall be full time and approved by us.” Second, the crew warranty required Ocean Reef to have one full- or parttime professional crew member onboard: “You [shall] employ 1 full time or part time professional crew for your yacht[.]

Ultimately, after the Court spent a lot of time explaining the how and why of maritime warranties concluding as follows:

“It may be that Wilburn Boat was a bad (or at least badly written) decision.” Rosin, 757 F. Supp. 2d at 1256. But we are stuck with it, and finding no established maritime rule governing captain and crew warranties, we hold that Florida law governs. We reverse the district court’s order granting summary judgment to Travelers, and remand for further proceedings.

You can read the entire decision by clicking HERE. And, if you have any questions, call the maritime offices of Fulweiler llc at 1-800-383-MAYDAY (6293).

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