McAlpin Tanner Marcotte Obtains Favorable Result At Marine Salvage Trial

Arnaud Girard v. M/Y QUALITY TIME

Case No. 13-cv-10010-KMM

February 5, 2014

Plaintiff rendered salvage services to a yacht which was taking on water offshore of Key West, Florida after striking a submerged object.  The U.S. Coast Guard had already responded and had evacuated the passengers.  The only question for the Court was the amount of Plaintiff’s salvage award.  The Plaintiff claimed that this was a high order salvage because it involved diving at night, and thus he demanded 33% of the yacht’s post-casualty value.  McAlpin Tanner Marcotte’s theme was that the Plaintiff collaborated with the Coast Guard, whose salvage efforts were already underway by the time Plaintiff appeared on scene.  The pumping, patching, and towage services rendered were clearly routine for a professional salvor.

At an admiralty bench trial, the Court agreed with McAlpin Tanner Marcotte, and characterized Plaintiff’s efforts as low order salvage.  The Court awarded the Plaintiff 10% of the yacht’s post-casualty value, plus a 2% uplift for the salvors’ status as professional salvors.