The Key Bridge Collapse: The Perspective No One’s Talking About Legal Alert – for PORT OPERATORS and BRIDGE OWNERS

May 3, 2024Supply Chain Chronicles

If your government-owned port or bridge meets with the unthinkable, will you be adequately compensated?

Sometimes catastrophe strikes. It’s impossible to see it coming (no pun intended) and hindsight sharpens to 20/20 for those directly involved (and stay tuned for a post on how to handle the indirect consequences many of us are dealing with). For the fortunate remainder of us, the question becomes: What can be learned moving forward?

After Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge was felled last month by a runaway cargo ship striking one of its support columns, one of the most significant US shipping ports is now out of commission with no certain timeline for recovery. A massive ripple effect is spreading throughout the country and beyond; rescue efforts, a Coast Guard investigation, wreckage-clearing, salvage, rerouted shipments, massive supply chain disruptions, and more aftereffects are likely to unfold in the coming months.

In the midst of all this, one aspect is being largely overlooked – How does this leave the Port Operators and Bridge Owners? These agencies are now dealing not only with damaged property but loss of business and revenue during the repair and restoration period.

By US Admiralty Law, there’s a limitation of the vessel owner’s liability to the salvage value of the damaged vessel, a payout that can’t possibly suffice in a case like this.

BUT… you have options to prevent this state of affairs.

For those who operate in this nexus between the private and public spheres of commerce, there are measures you can take to ensure that you’re covered, even if the unforeseen comes your way. Your operation is a conduit for the shippers’ goods, and with possibilities like the current Baltimore affair on the table, you’re well within your rights to insist on enhanced indemnity agreements with those who ship through your facilities, ensuring adequate restitution in the unlikely event of a serious accident.

Protect Yourself and Operate with Peace of Mind

In the current business climate, even operating under the deep-seated Maritime Law, you don’t have to be unprepared with inadequate coverage, no matter what may happen. You do not want to be limited to the default, so exercise your legal contractual options and enable yourself to do business with peace of mind.

Not sure how to do that?

The Commerce Law Partners team has deep expertise in assisting growing enterprises with risk mitigation, particularly those anomalies hiding in your day-to-day operations, waiting to sprout into significant legal and compliance nightmares.

Have additional questions?

Contact Commerce Law Partners today and Prepare to Win.

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