In re: M/V MSC Flaminia, No. 18-2974 (2d Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Deltech Corp. (“Deltech”), a chemical manufacturer, joins here with Stolt-Nielsen USA, Inc., and Stolt Tank Containers B.V. (together, “Stolt”), a shipping concern, to challenge the district court’s determination that they alone bear liability for damages caused by an explosion and fire that took place in June 2012 aboard the ocean-going vessel M/V MSC Flaminia. In the first phase of a three-part proceeding, the district court addressed the causes of the explosion. It determined that the decision to ship DVB-80 from New Orleans Terminal rather than a northeastern port, the early filling of the DVB-80 containers and their early transport to New Orleans Terminal, the conditions in which the tanks of DVB-80 were kept at New Orleans Terminal, and their placement and stowage onboard the Flaminia were the primary causes of the explosion. It exculpated other parties to the shipping transaction from legal liability. It is this decision that Deltech and Stolt challenge now in an interlocutory appeal.
The Second Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court reversed the district court’s determination that Deltech and Stolt are strictly liable under Section 4(6) of the Carriage of Goods at Sea Act (“COGSA”), but the court affirmed its ruling that Deltech and Stolt are liable under a failure-to-warn theory pursuant to Section 4(3). As to the other defendants, the court affirmed the district court’s conclusion that the carrier and related shipowner interests were not negligent in their treatment of the shipment and that New Orleans Terminal too, was not negligent. The court also affirmed the district court’s determination that Stolt has not stated a claim against its subcontractor.