High Court Judge Fidela Corbin-Lincoln has ordered that MT Tradewind Passion, the ship which crashed into the Demerara Harbour Bridge in October, be released and for the company to lodge $245.5 million as limited liability.
Justice Corbin-Lincoln also ordered that the Bridge and Canama Trading, the ship’s owners, argue limited liability as a defence against the property damage claims.
In granting the Order sought by Canama Trading to argue limitation of liability, which the Bridge brought on, the Judge ordered that a limitation fund be created and lodged with the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
“Upon receipt of the copy of the letter of undertaking, the Registrar shall forthwith issue a notice of receipt of the letter of undertaking for the constitution of the limitation fund in accordance with this order which shall be served by the Defendant on the Claimant,” the Judge stated.
The Harbour Bridge was represented by Attorneys-at-Law Sanjeev Datadin and Donovan Rangiah, while Attorney-at-Law Kamal Ramkarran represented the Panamanian company.
Last month, the Harbour Bridge filed a more than $1 billion lawsuit against the Panamanian company for general and special damages due to the October 8 accident, which rendered the floating structure inoperable for about three days.
But the company had contested the figure, arguing that under Section 401 of the Guyana Shipping Act, a shipowner may limit its liability and that Act Section 402 (1) provides limit liability regardless of the basis of liability.
As a result, Canama Trading contended that the Harbour Bridge claims are subject to limitation, regardless of the basis of liability.