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MOL's Cougar Ace case to be tried in Canada

MOL's Cougar Ace case to be tried in Canada

Tokyo: MOL's application to try the case against its chartered car carrier the Cougar Ace (pictured) in Japan has been rejected by a Canadian court on the basis of Canada's Marine Liability Act 2001. The company had argued that an exclusive jurisdiction clause in the bill of lading for the Singapore flagged car carrier entailed that any action against the carrier must be brought before the Tokyo District Court.

However, as the consignment of 4,813 Mazda cars onboard the Cougar Ace destroyed during the mishap last year were destined for Canadian and US ports, a judge has ruled that the case should be tried in Canada under section 46 of Canada's public policy.

Under Canadian law, there is a 25% increase in liability to the plaintiff- Mazda Canada by the defendants - MOB Cougar Pte Ltd (owner), MOL (time charterer), the master and second engineer (both from Myanmar), and the Singaporean chief engineer.

In July 2006, the Cougar Ace suddenly listed during a routine ballast operation, requiring crew to be rescued by the US coast guard and the vessel to be towed to Portland in Oregon. There was significant damage to the vehicular cargo onboard.  [15/10/07]

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