5th Circ. Tosses Maritime Lien In Fuel Payment Dispute

Law360 (June 18, 2020, 7:59 PM EDT) -- An energy business can't put liens against three ships operated by French company CGG Services in a dispute over an unpaid fuel bill because the move doesn't fit the terms of maritime law on the practice, the Fifth Circuit has ruled.

Overturning a lower court, an appellate panel said Wednesday that because the CGG ships were transporting the fuel to other vessels off the coast of Louisiana and not using it themselves, the fuel was cargo and couldn't be considered "necessary" to the function of the CGG ships. To hold otherwise would be an unprecedented expansion of the Commercial Instruments and...

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