In its latest claims review ITIC, a leading professional indemnity mutual managed by Thomas Miller, reports on a case where a surveyor in Canada was contracted to provide a load and stow survey for a barge of steel.
A week after the survey had been undertaken the barge sank and the cargo was lost. The surveyor was one of eight parties sued for C$2.5m.
In the lawsuit it was alleged that the surveyor knew, or should have known, that the barge loading capacity was 6.8 metric tons but allowed 7 metric tons to be loaded. This was alleged to have caused or contributed to the sinking.
Although it was not clear that the surveyor had been negligent, ITIC said that there was some risk that they could be found liable.
The owner’s insurers agreed to settle the majority of the claim and the surveyor was asked to contribute C$75,000 to the settlement pot.
Given the risk of an adverse finding against the surveyor and the prospect of a drawn out and expensive lawsuit, ITIC agreed to indemnify the surveyor.