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Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Gone but not forgotten

The Ever Given has left Suez. But Suez hasn’t left the Ever Given. The owner of the ship responsible for blocking the Suez Canal for almost a week in March is set to be hit by “many hundreds of thousands” of lawsuits, according to Bloomberg. Two subsidiaries of owner Shoei Kisen won a court order in London yesterday that will put claims on hold for two months, amid expectations that individual cargo owners will soon file thousands of claims against the company, as will the ship’s charterer Evergreen Marine Corp.

The company could be in for years of litigation as everyone affected by the incident — which had global ramifications, heavily disrupting trade across the world — files claims and seeks damages. Fitch Ratings earlier estimated that claims can easily surpass hundreds of mns of EUR, and that it would affect marine reinsurers in particular.

Yesterday’s court order could ease the process a little: The stay could help reduce legal costs for the company by giving the court time to bundle together similar and overlapping claims.

The cost: USD 540 mn and counting. Shoei Kisen and its ins. companies have reportedly paid out USD 540 mn in compensation to the Suez Canal Authority.

The Ever Given was released from the Suez Canal on 7 July after the ship's owners agreed to a compensation settlement with the SCA after months of negotiations.

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