Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Owners of ship Westerhaven must pay $11.5 million for damage to Barrier Reef caused by negligence

In what Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh called one of the most “technical” cases he has ever decided in his time in the Belize Supreme Court, the Government of Belize won its claim against the owners of Dutch cargo ship Westerhaven, which plowed into Belize’s Barrier Reef on the night of January 13, 2009, allegedly because of negligence on the part of its captain, Fritz Schroeder.

The MS Westerhaven Schiffahrb GMBH& Co. KG must now pay BZ$11.5 million in damages for running over an acre of pristine coral while on its way out of Belize, headed for Santo Tomas in Guatemala. The Company was represented by Michael Young and Darrell Bradley of Youngs Law Firm, while the case for the Attorney General was argued by the mother-daughter team of Lois Young and Deanne Barrow.

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