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Liability and compensation for marine pollution damage

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2021 | Maritime Law |

The seas and oceans are at easy risk of being polluted by irresponsible individuals and companies. They may be impatient to get rid of a toxic substance on their ship, or they may be ignorant of the detriment that they are causing to marine life. Whether the pollution in Louisiana is intentional or accidental, there are laws to hold people liable for the damages.

Who is liable for marine pollution?

Maritime law determines who is responsible for pollution that occurs in waterways, the type of liability they’re responsible for, and the level of compensation they must pay, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The main concern is determining liability for an act of pollution. Courts have to decide whether to prosecute the ship worker, the ship’s captain, or the entire shipping company. Generally, the shipowner is held liable for damages caused by an oil spill or other disaster, according to decades-old regulations set by the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage.

The legal consequences in Louisiana

The Ocean Dumping Act penalizes intentional acts of pollution with fines up to $250,000 and prison terms up to 5 years. Similarly, the Oil Pollution Act includes penalties that require violators to pay $25,000 for each damaging action or $1,000 for each barrel of spilled oil.

The dynamics of maritime law

No one is above maritime law, whether he or she is a captain or a CEO. But when an act of negligence becomes a legal case, the accused person has the right to learn more about his or her own rights. Start by learning about the consequences of violating state, national and international pollution laws.