QUESTIONS TO ASK (A 2 Stage Test)
Q1: Knowing vessel defect, would a prudent shipowner still have sent vessel out to sea for that particular voyage?
- NO: Vessel is considered to be seaworthy by industry standards; hence Defendant Shipowners cannot be faulted
o It is possible that at a given time, the knowledge of the shipping industry might not be advanced enough and prudent shipowners would not have thought that seemingly innocent defects could have caused greater issues if left untreated
o Thus, Defendant Shipowners cannot be faulted in such a case
- YES (proceed to Q2)
Q2: Would the exercise of due diligence by Defendant Shipowners (or their delegated personnel) have detected the defect (and taken steps to remedy it)?
- NO: Defendant Shipowners cannot be faulted for such latent defects undiscoverable by due diligence
- YES: Thus, Defendant Shipowners have failed to exercise due diligence to ensure vessel is seaworthy, ie Shipowners are liable.