Amican Navigation Inc. v. The "Necat A" et al.

In Admiralty Practice, In Rem Actions and Arrest on (Updated )

This was an appeal from the Prothonotary. The original motion was by the shipowner to reduce the amount of bail that had been posted to secure the release of the ship from arrest. The underlying action was for breach of charterparty. The Plaintiff alleged the Defendant failed to provide a ship to load a cargo the Plaintiff had undertaken to transport. The Plaintiff claimed damages of $337,000.00 for loss of profit, $130,000.00 for Suez Canal fees and $114,000.0 for the balance owing on the hire statement. Bail was initially given in the amount of $605,000.00. The Prothonotary reduced this bail to $124,000.00 holding that the Plaintiff was not entitled to bail in respect of the loss of profits claim or in respect of the canal fees. On appeal, the Court reinstated bail for the loss of profits claim holding that the Plaintiff was entitled to bail based on its best arguable case and that speculative calculations should not be used to determine this. The Court did, however, find that the best arguable case on the loss of profits claim was 30% of revenues rather than the 60% the Plaintiff claimed. With respect to the canal fees, the Court held that the fact that the Plaintiff had not paid these fees was not relevant as the Plaintiff was obliged to pay them and, in fact, was being sued for them. The Plaintiff was held to also be entitled to bail in respect of these fees.