Personal injury claim following attack by Somali pirates with international element

Moore Blatch helped a man achieve a significant award following an attack by Somali pirates.

Our client was working as a ship’s security officer on board a Carnival Cruise Line vessel when it was attacked by Somali pirates off the east coast of Africa. The client, together with the Master at Arms, fought off the pirate attack using water hoses and a long-range acoustic device. As a result of the attack he suffered both physical and psychiatric injuries.

After consideration we brought a claim against several Defendants. First of all proceedings were started in California, where the Judge decided that the appropriate jurisdiction was England and Wales and then subsequently the matter was commenced in the Queen’s Bench Division of the Admiralty Court.

The client’s case was that the Captain of the ship steamed too close to the Somali coast having already received numerous warnings of previous piracy attacks in the area. Further, the Captain of the vessel stood down the piracy watch just before the attack. The case was fully defended in all aspects. The parties obtained experts not only in relation to the medical issues but also in relation to maritime and anti-piracy issues.

The matter was finally resolved at a joint settlement meeting 6 weeks from Trial. The settlement amount is subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

This was a significant and complex case for many reasons including jurisdictional and liability issues. The successful claim reflects the ability of our expert solicitors and Moore Blatch generally to undertake and successfully complete claims that many other leading national personal injury firms would not accept.