A detained ship entangles Transatlantic Lines and Yowell International in litigation

By Daniel Beauregard | Jul 26, 2018

Transatlantic Lines and Yowell International did not deliver cargo as promised, an insurance company claims.  

NEW ORLEANS — A naval transport company faces a lawsuit after allegedly failing to deliver cargo to a San Diego port.

Starr Indemnity & Liability Company filed the complaint on July 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Transatlantic Lines (TAL) and Yowell International. 

The dispute stems from TAL and Yowell’s failure to deliver parts intended for the construction of a naval vessel by National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO).

General Dynamics, an affiliate of NASSCO, obtained an insurance policy from Starr and enlisted Yowell to handle the freight transport of the parts from Rotterdam, Netherlands, to San Diego.

The insured cargo did not make it on time to San Diego.  

The agreement between General Dynamics and Yowell specifically stated that the parts were to be delivered no later than August, 1, 2017. Yowell recommended the vessel GEYSIR, owned by TAL, for the job.

According to the complaint, Yowell informed NASSCO the ship was delayed and wouldn’t arrive on time. While en route, the ship allegedly made an unscheduled detour, docking in Jacksonville, Florida.

On August 9, 2017, the ship was detained by U.S. Marshals after a Turkish shipyard claimed unpaid ship repairs. While docked in Jacksonville, U.S. Coast Guard personnel deemed the ship unseaworthy. 

Starr agreed to pay more than $750,000 to NASSCO, per its insurance agreement with General Dynamics, over the situation.

Starr claims TAL and Yowell is liable, since they were responsible for hiring the ship. In the complaint, the insurance company accuses both firms of failing to properly monitor and manage the transportation of the cargo. 

Starr is represented by maritime lawyer Thomas A. Rayer Jr.

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