Doris v. The "Ferdinand"

In Maritime Liens, Mortgages & Priorities on (Updated )

The Plaintiff was the C.E.O. of a company that in turn owned 12 other companies each of which owned one ship. The ships were floating homes. The Plaintiff alleged that as Master of the ships he disbursed funds for the payment of maintenance expenses. The Plaintiff claimed a maritime lien for Master’s disbursements in respect of such payments. The Plaintiff’s claim was disallowed. The Court held that the payments by the Plaintiff were for operating expenses of the company (primarily for principal and interest payments on loans) and not for necessaries. Further, the Court held the payments were not made by the Plaintiff in the capacity of Master but in his capacity as a shareholder. Finally, The Court held that a critical element of a Master’s disbursement is the Master’s inability to communicate with owners and that such element was totally missing in this case.