In an interesting development from the world of piracy:
Nine crewmembers who were onboard the Maersk Alabama when the vessel was hijacked in 2009 off the coast of Somalia have sued Maersk Line and Waterman Steamship Corp. claiming the companies ignored warnings about Somali pirates and sailed too close to the Somali coast.
The complaint states that on or about April 6, 2009, Maersk Line and Waterman Steamship Corp. received notice and warning to sail at least 600 miles off the coast of Somalia because pirates were active in the region, but “through their officers, employees, and/or agents”, made the decision to sail the Maersk Alabama within approximately 250 miles off of the coast of Somalia, which lead to its hijacking.
I’m a little skeptical how much damages they’ll really be able to get given that they weren’t actually held in captivity for very long by the pirates, but:
The crewmembers seek compensatory and punitive damages for physical injuries, negligence, wantonness, emotional distress, post traumatic stress disorder and sleep disorders, medical expenses and lost wages.
That said, this could change the financial equation somewhat for ships (particularly of US-flag) getting ready to go through the Gulf of Aden.