We represented the insurers of a cargo of fruit destroyed by a fire on a vessel shipped from Cameroon.
The fire started shortly after the vessel departed the port of Douala. A subsequent police investigation established that the fire was started by a member of the crew in a misguided attempt to attract attention after he had become locked in the cargo hold. The crew member died in the fire.
James Cradick took a leading role in co-ordinating and investigating the factual position on the ground in Cameroon with the assistance of local lawyers which resulted in a significant claim for losses arising from the total loss of the cargo. The claim was lodged with the insurers of the vessel who declined liability. Confidential settlement negotiations followed.
The claim centred on allegations that the vessel was unseaworthy, that there were inadequate fire fighting measures in place, that the crew were poorly trained and fire fighting equipment was insufficiently maintained.