Ruling in oil disaster could lead to huge compensation claims

It was negligent when captain Apostolos Mangouras in 2002 sailed oil tanker Prestige into stormy weather, well aware of the vessel's poor condition, and caused a huge oil spill, as now confirmed by the Spanish supreme court. Compensations could reach billions of euros.

The Supreme Court of Spain has ruled that the now 80-year old captain Apostolos Mangouras was negligent in his actions when he in 2002 sailed Greek-owned tanker Prestige well aware that the ship was not seaworthy, and the ship ended up breaking in two parts during a storm, sinking with a cargo full of crude. Apart from the captain, shipowner Mare Shipping and the London P&I club are also held responsible in the ruling.

The decision now opens the door t an aftermath in which compensation claims against the captain and the insurance company could reach billions of euros. According to Maritime Executive, just one of the claims is for EUR 4 billion.

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