M/V EVER GIVEN: LEGAL ASSESSMENT OF THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE ACCIDENT
The grounding of M/V Ever Given in the Suez Canal for six days led to an unprecedented perturbation to the supply chain of the maritime sector. Specifically, the sudden closure of the canal resulted in the delay of hundreds of vessels and subsequently to enormous claims and even, in some cases, loss of cargo. The M/V Ever Given was later impounded by Egyptian authorities for an initial claim of $916 million and was released after three months when the Egyptian government and the managing company reached an agreement for compensation. This paper aims to assess the most prominent causes of the accident, locate the causa proxima that directly led to the accident and evaluate the impact of the relevant legislation under which the vessel was operated. Initially, the material facts regarding the state of the vessel, the canal, and external factors will be explored, and each action that possibly led to the accident will be analysed. The outcome of this analysis will provide the causa proxima of the accident, and then an evaluation will be made regarding the liabilities of each stakeholder. The analysis will continue with evaluating the impact of the national and international legal provisions that were in effect during the crossing of M/V Ever Given from the Suez Canal and with the assessment of a possible limitation of liability of the most liable party. The analysis will be based on the legal doctrine, evaluating relevant legislation and previous court decisions. Finally, in conclusion, measures will be proposed to be implemented, aiming to prevent the repetition of such accidents in the future.
SCA, grounding, Hague–Visby Rules, COLREGS, causa proxima