Bulk liquid transport specialist Stolt-Nielsen has failed in its attempt to overturn a ruling holding it, along with Deltech, responsible for the 2012 fire on MSC Flaminia.
Stolt Tank Containers, a division of Stold-Nielsen, was found at 45% fault for the fire which broke out in cargo hold four on 14 July 2012 during the Flaminia’s Atlantic crossing. Three of Stolt Containers’ 29 containers on board were situated in hold four.
Despite the actions of the crew to subdue the fire, an explosion occurred on board and three crew members were killed, two others were severely injured, the vessel itself was damaged and the majority of the cargo in hold four was destroyed.
A 2018 decision by the Southern District Court of New York held Stolt-Nielsen and Deltech, the chemical manufacturer and provider whose cargo Stolt-Nielsen was transporting, responsible as they did not properly inform MSC of the dangers of transporting divinylbenzene (DVB). This led to the unsafe loading of the containers near heat sources.
Stolt-Nielsen said it was “disappointed” by the decision of the Court of Appeals: “The company is currently assessing the legal and financial implications of the Court’s decision, which included a dissenting opinion and is considering further appeals and mitigations.”
Although the final penalties have not been ruled on, Stolt-Nielsen said it is preparing its accounts for a liability of $115m.
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“The company will record a loss provision related to the ruling in its second quarter (Q2) financials, due to be reported on July 6, 2023, of $155m, which net of tax will impact the company’s net profit for the quarter by approximately $115m,” the company confirmed.
Stolt-Nielsen made clear it has liquidity in place and “remains in a financially strong position” and will release its Q2 financial report on 6 July as planned.