Ferguson v. Arctic Transportation Ltd.

In Admiralty Practice, Parties on (Updated )

This was an action by the Plaintiff against the Defendant shipowner for personal injuries suffered by the Plaintiff while the Defendant ship was transiting the Panama Canal. At the time of the accident the Plaintiff was employed as a Pilot by the Panama Canal Commission. The Defendant in the case had previously joined the Panama Canal Commission as a Third Party and now sought leave, against the wishes of the Plaintiff, to have it added as a Defendant. The Court refused the Defendant’s motion. In doing so, the Court held that the Plaintiff has the prima facie right to choose the Defendants against whom it wishes to proceed and that this right should only be departed from in exceptional circumstances.