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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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OW plaintiffs resolve dispute after locking horns over who supplied fuel to bulker

Sea Debt claimed that OW Bunker Panama had supplied fuel to the M/V Bridgegate - and not OW Bunker USA.



Locking horns: OW Bunker USA and OW Bunker Panama were both claimed to have supplied fuel to the M/V Bridgegate in October 2014. Image credit: Pixabay CC0 Public Domain


Updated on 28 Mar 2018 14:15 GMT

A court in Louisiana, US, has ruled that all claims by The O.W. Bunker USA Inc. Liquidating Trust (OW US Trust) against the bulk carrier M/V Bridgegate have been dismissed, with each party agreeing to bear their own respective costs, and intervening plaintiff, Sea Debt Management Panama S.A., resolving its claim for more than $770,000 (including interest) with the liquidating trust.

In its original complaint, filed on March 13, OW US Trust claimed a total of $870,385.77 (comprising a supply invoice issued to Hudson Shipping Lines Inc., c/o Maritime Brokers and Consultants Inc., of $725,586.53, plus fees, costs and interest of $144,799.24) for the alleged non-payment of bunker fuel sold by the now-defunct O.W. Bunker USA Inc (OW US) in October 2014, which filed for bankruptcy the following month.

But the case took an unexpected twist last week when intervening plaintiff Sea Debt Management Panama S.A., as assignee of all rights of O.W. Bunker Panama S.A. (OW Panama), claimed that it was OW Panama - and not OW US - that physically supplied all of the bunkers to the vessel.

Sea Debt argued that OW Panama's invoice to 'M/V Bridgegate IMO: 9538945, and/or owners/charterers[/] O.W. Bunker USA Inc' was for $721,611.39, and that OW US's markup on the sale to the vessel was therefore "only" $3,975.14.

In addition to claiming $721,611.39 for the supply of fuel, Sea Debt also demanded "at least $50,000 of maritime prejudgment interest for the bunkers".

As a result, whilst on March 19 OW US Trust filed a motion to dismiss, with Sea Debt claiming that OW US Trust had "apparently... accepted settlement payments from the owners/managers/charterers or others on behalf of the M/V Bridgegate", Sea Debt moved to try and deny the motion.

However, two days later, on March 21, the court confirmed that there had been a resolution of claims between Sea Debt and OW US Trust, with Sea Debt withdrawing its Motion to Intervene, Motion to Expedite, Opposition to Motion to Dismiss, and Opposition to Notice of Voluntary Dismissal.

The court issued an order to dismiss all claims by OW US Trust against M/V Bridgegate on March 23.






Related Links:

OW Bunker liquidating trust granted permission to arrest ship
Lawyer fined for conflict of interest in OW Bunker case
United States

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