Shipping Firms Reach A $97 Million Californian Oil Spill Deal

Shipping firms are going to pay about $97 million for settling a lawsuit with a pipeline operator over a 2021 oil spill off the Southern California coast, the pipeline firm said on Wednesday.

A Houston-based firm that runs the pipeline mentioned in a statement that firms associated with M/V Beijing and M/V Danit agreed to payments.

Once the payments are done, the aforementioned firm said it would be dropping its claims against shipping majors.

Shipping Giants To Pay $97M
Image for representation purposes only

The resolution of the firm’s claims against the vessels and its affiliated entities concludes the involvement in the litigation related to the pipeline incident that happened in 2021, Martyn Willsher, the company’s chief executive and president, said in the statement.

Messages seeking comment were reportedly sent to the lawyers for shipping firms.

While relatively less severe than what was feared initially, the oil spill sent out blobs of crude oil washing ashore, oiled birds, shuttered beaches for about a week and fisheries for over a month, and threatened area wetland.

Southern Californian fishermen, tourism agencies, and several property owners reportedly sued the company in question and those shipping vessels that sought compensation for losses. The firm agreed on paying $50 million.

The shipping firm reached a plea deal with relevant federal authorities for discharging crude negligently, and sued vessels, and Marine Exchange, an organization that oversees marine traffic.

The Marine Exchange has reportedly agreed to a non-monetary settlement with the shipping firm, the statement mentioned. No details of the settlement were released immediately.

References: Infra Economic Times, Claims Journal

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