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Tugboat operator’s breach no defense to owner’s liability for oil spill – 5th Circuit
November 8, 2017 / 1:33 AM / in 16 days

Tugboat operator’s breach no defense to owner’s liability for oil spill – 5th Circuit

American Commercial Lines owes the U.S. government $20 million in cleanup costs and damages stemming from a 2008 collision between the company’s tugboat and an ocean-going tanker that sent 300,000 gallons of oil spilling into the Mississippi River near New Orleans, a federal appeals court held on Tuesday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that American Commercial Lines is responsible for the collision even though the company it had chartered to operate the tugboat, DRD Towing, had breached their contract by violating Coast Guard regulations.

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