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COGSA Act Defenses: Strikes & Lockouts

This week we have been discussing the seventeen Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) defenses. These defenses are the different ways that a vessel owner cannot be held liable when a shipper’s cargo is lost or damaged. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the tenth COGSA Act defense, which relates to labor issues that could delay or destroy cargo. It reads:

“Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible for loss or damage arising from… Strikers, lockouts, stoppage or restraint of labor from whatever cause, whether partial or general: Provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to relieve a carrier from responsibility for the carrier’s own acts…”

What does this really mean? Simply put, it means that the carrier of the cargo or the ship itself cannot be held responsible for cargo that is lost, damaged or destroyed because of an uncooperative workforce. This includes a worker strike, a labor dispute, a lockout, or any other situation in which cargo can’t be moved because of a lack of workers. The cause of the lack of labor doesn’t matter.

Are you in a shipping dispute that involves cargo that was damaged or lost because of a labor issue? Your case may benefit from the above COGSA defense. It is important to understand, however, that all cases are unique and deserve unique legal solutions. To learn more about the details of your case and whether you may be liable for the damaged cargo in question, speak with a marine insurance claim attorney from Voss Law Firm today. Call us at 888-614-7730.

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