Collisions between multiple vessels. Apportionment of liability.

Section 187 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 provides that “Where, by the fault of one or more ships, damage or loss is caused to one or more of those ships…the liability to make good the damage or loss shall be in proportion to the degree in which each ship was in fault”. In  The Bovenkerk [1973] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 63 Brandon J. had indicated was an “open question of some difficulty”, as to whether liability could be apportioned between multiple vessels when only some of them were parties to the action. In The Nordlake [2015] EWHC 3605 (Admlty) Teare J has held that account has to be taken of the causative faults of all the vessels involved in apportioning liability, even if some were not parties to the action before the court, and would not be bound by his decision.



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