Shippers Look To High Court For 'Safe Berth' Resolution

Law360 (June 18, 2019, 4:14 PM EDT) -- Does a charterer that agrees to nominate a “safe berth” to load and discharge cargo guarantee the berth’s safety for the vessel? If you are litigating this issue in the U.S. courts within the Second and Third Circuits, the answer is yes. But the answer is much different in the Fifth Circuit, where a charterer’s nomination of a “safe berth” only requires the exercise of due diligence in selecting a safe berth.

This split among what many consider to be the most influential U.S. courts for maritime issues may soon be resolved. In April, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a charterer’s request to review a Third...

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