Micronesia (Federated States of)
Damages, Jurisdiction, Liability, Standing, Remedies, Torts, Contract, Property, Administrative
On August 10, 2000, the M.V. Sea Chase ran aground on the reef of Kuop Atoll, outside Truk Lagoon, Chuuk. The vessel was later salvaged and is no longer on the reef. This suit arises from that incident. The plaintiffs, Carlos Moses and the Uman Municipal Government, claim that the M.V. Sea Chase ran aground on Kuop as the result of negligent navigation, damaging the reef and spilling petroleum products. Plaintiff Carlos Moses, claiming an ownership interest in the reef, and plaintiff Uman municipal government, claiming Kuop as a part of its municipality, seek compensatory and punitive damages for the injury to the reef systems. The plaintiffs relied on s.8(1) of the Chuuk State Environmental Protection Actin their claim for $100,000 per day for damage to the reef. The court stated that the penalty created under the Act may only be asserted and collected by the Chuuk Environmental Protection Agency. The claim against the vessel was dismissed because the vessel had not been seized by court process and was no longer in the jurisdiction. Thus the court could not exercise in rem jurisdiction over the vessel. The claim against the vessel’s insurer was dismissed. As a general rule common law prohibits actions by a 3rd party against an insurer absent some statute or contractual provision.