Fisher Maritime

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Services Provided

Environmental Issues

We have prepared several analyses pertaining to the presence of PCBs, lead, asbestos, and heavy metals at shipyard and ship-scrapping sites in order to address industrial hygiene issues. These analyses were then used as a basis for assigning or recovering clean-up costs. The synopses of some samples assignments have been included below to better familiarize oneself with the services we have provided regarding environmental issues.

Shipyard Environmental Clean-Up Costs

The owners of a former shipyard in a riverside urban location wanted to sell the property for development as a large shopping center, but first faced significant costs for environmental remediation. The site's sellers turned to Fisher Maritime to define which other parties may have had partial responsibility for the site contamination in order to share the clean-up costs.

Fisher Maritime analyzed the historical records of work performed at the shipyard site, including ship construction and ship scrapping. Fisher Maritime's personnel also testified in state court to identify the sources of the various contaminants and to identify the parties that brought those contaminants to the site. That testimony, coupled with that of experts in other fields, was instrumental in a favorable ruling from the court for Fisher Maritime's client, the shipyard, as to allocation of costs among several parties.


Shipyard Site Contamination Sources

Fisher Maritime provided expert witness services to one of four parties litigating over the remediation of a portion of a former US Government shipyard developed during WWII. Fisher Maritime provided an expert report that combined its insight of the maritime industry and the documentary evidence from the files that thoroughly discussed the history of the site inclusive of ownership, occupancy, and the industrial uses of the site.

Fisher Maritime's report linked all the identified major site contaminants to various ship-related activities as appropriate. The history of the site, as researched and described by Fisher Maritime, was more complete and comprehensive than prior site histories; it was sufficient to give the four involved parties a basis for allocation of the site remediation costs without further litigation.

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Insurance Coverage for Shipyard Clean-Up

Fisher Maritime was tasked by its clients, a group of insurers, to analyze and comment on the shipyard processes that resulted in contamination of the shipyard premises. The shipyard sought to pass the costs of site remediation on to insurance companies that provided certain coverages many years ago, but not currently.

Through careful analysis of the evolution of the shipyard and the timing of the activities that were undertaken there (newbuilding, scrapping, repair), Fisher Maritime discovered that the contamination was mainly from processes that ignored company disposal policies or from events that transpired prior to the relevant insurance policies. Both avenues of contamination were found to be outside the particular insurance coverage held by the shipyard.

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Proportional Shipyard Clean-Up

Fisher Maritime was retained by the Department of Justice to evaluate the potential liability of each of several parties for clean-up costs at a private shipyard. The parties included several former owners of the shipyard, a state government that operated a facility at the site, and the federal government.

Fisher Maritime analyzed the historical records of work performed at the site for each owner and each type of customer (private owners, state, federal) and linked each to the types of contaminants found at the site. Fisher Maritime's report was used as a basis for a negotiated settlement between the parties.

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