Judgement of the Spanish Supreme Court in the “SPANAIR crash case”

The recent Judgement of the Supreme Court (The Civil Chamber) nº 1513/2019, of 17th of May 2019, brings to a close the issue on the assessment of personal injuries in aviation accidents as it states that, in the absence of assessment standards for personal injuries caused in aircraft accidents a compensation based on the existing legal scale for personal injuries caused in motor vehicle accidents is considered more appropriate.

The Judgement of the Supreme Court confirms the criterion of the Province (High) Court of Barcelona regarding the absence of two payable compensations accumulated for the same injury, an objective one and a subjective one. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court, disagreeing with the Province Court, considers that the Regulation nº 785/2004 does not pursue the quantification of damage to the victim nor it establishes the criteria of quantification. Its sole objective is to establish a minimum insurance coverage for a risky operation such as that of an air carrier. This damage should be evaluated in each Member State in accordance with their own criteria for assessment of damage since there are no Community rules that would provide a frame of assessment. This is consistent with the doctrine of case of law of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court that determines that recoverable damage is a damage that was suffered. Yet the judgement points out that the indicative use of the scale for car accidents for the quantification of the compensation of personal injuries does not prevent the application of corrective mechanisms depending on the circumstances involved in the sector of the activity to which this application is related. In case of death of a passenger in an aviation accident, its catastrophic nature and all other surrounding circumstances are such that it is reasonable that the compensation resulting from the application of the scale be increased by an additional percentage, which was set at 50% in this particular case.

Finally, the Supreme Court considered that the payment of interests of the article 20 of the Insurance Contract Act should be applicable to the insurance company of the airline since they were not contemplated as punitive damages but as delay interests, consequence of an action brought by the injured party directly against the insurer of the carrier.

This Judgement, in principle applicable to air transport, establishes criteria that are applicable by analogy to personal injuries in maritime transport.

WISTA Spain Annual Meeting – 2019 – “Bilbao in Evolution”

On 26th and 27th of April, WISTA Spain annual meeting was held in the Maritime Museum (Museo Marítimo) in Bilbao and was cosponsored by our firm. The event was organized by the WISTA associates in Bilbao, Marta Prado, the chair of the panel discussion on 26th; Itsaso Ibáñez, Carolina Ibáñez and the partner of our Bilbao office, Zuberoa Elorriaga.

As planned, the event under the title Bilbao in Evolution: New Trends in Shipping and Tradingtook place on Friday. The meeting was divided into three thematic groups, two in the morning with various presentations under the heading “Fishing Industry, Insurance and its Evolution” and “Logistics, Transportation and Supply Chain”; and one in the afternoon consisting of a very interactive panel discussion called “Development and Port Challenges in the XXIst Century”, all this with the participation and the great performance of Dr. Olga Fotinopoulos – Full Professor of Laboru Law and Social Welfare Law at the University of the Basque Country, Mr. Borja Alonso Olano – Director of the Legal and Sustainability Department of Albacora S.A., Mrs. Beate Soia – Account Executive of March JLT, Marine Insurance & Claims, Mrs. Iratxe García Gil – Director of Organization and Corporate Development in IVL/LEE (Basque Institute of Mobility and Sustainability), Mrs. Sonia García Díaz – Managing Director in Dagase, President of Asetravi ( Business Association of Transport of Biscay), Mrs. Nerea García Núñez – Regional Supply Chain Manager in Guardian Glass Automotive – Europe, Mrs. Inmaculada Ugarteche Maturana – Director of UniportBilbao – Port Community, Mrs. Elvira Gallego Uribe – General Manager in CPS Iberian Bilbao Terminal, Mrs. Ana Santiago G-Bretón – CEO in SISTEPLANT and Mrs. Sira Aranguren Lozano – Managing Director in SERGUSA and President of the Official Association of the Customs Agents in Bilbao.

Out of the present authorities it is necessary to stress the support received from Mrs. Arantxa Tapia, Minister for Economic Development and Competitiveness of the Basque Government, who also participated in the event, as well as the attendance of the Director of the Merchant Navy, Mr. Benito Núñez, the Harbour Master of Bilbao Mr. Carlos García, the Harbour Master of Pasaia Mr. Josu Gotzon Bilbao and Mr. Carlos Alzaga of the Bilbao Port Authority, among others.

From AIYON Abogados we would like to congratulate all the organizers and speakers on the excellent work done!

Actions to be taken by the Master in response to a maritime accident

On 8TH November 2018, our colleagues from the south José Domínguez and Enrique Ortiz held a lecture at the University of La Laguna in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on “Actions to be taken by the Master in response to a maritime accident”.

AIYON Abogados want to thank the University of La Laguna and in particular the “Escuela Politécnica Superior de Ingeniería Sección: Náutica, Máquinas y Radioelectrónica Naval” for their invitation and hospitality. We are happy to contribute to the training of the students of Maritime Law and future Masters and Chief Engineers in the handling of incidents covered by marine insurance.

Our colleagues Jose Castro and Enrique Ortiz attended the conference last Thursday, November 8th, and would like to thank the interest shown by the conference participants, numerous university students in their  4th course of the Degree of Nautical and other invited professionals from the sector, and the hospitality with which were welcomed by the teachers of the University.

Conflict resolution: PASSENGER CLAIMS

With a clear bet in favour of cruise tourism due to the relevance that this sector has in the economy of our country, Spain has achieved a privileged position in the global context of this sector. According to data from the public entity Puertos del Estado, in 2017 the number of visitors on cruise ships exceeded by 9 million, making Spain the second largest European country in the number of cruise passengers. Puertos del Estado estimates that by 2020, Spain will receive 9.5 million cruise passengers.

These data must be completed with regular line vessels that progressively add tourist visits year after year. In 2017, the total number of passengers traveling on regular lines amounted to 24.7 million. Although the majority of these lines are dedicated to the traffic between the peninsula and Africa and inter-island connections, it is expected that these numbers will increase as the routes linking Spain with Italy and the United Kingdom or the recently inaugurated line between Santander and the Irish port of Cork, are gaining prominence. Read more

The validity of insurance clauses in case of failure to supervise the truck during transportation

In a judgment (number 590/2017) dated 7th November 2017, the Spanish Supreme Court has had the opportunity to clarify conflicting case law from different Courts of Appeals regarding the requirements for the validity of insurance clauses that exclude coverage in cargo theft matters when there has been a failure to keep a proper supervision of the truck or container during transportation.

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International Sales under CIF terms and the Active Legitimation of the Insurers

In international sales under CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) or CFR (Cost and Freight) terms, it is clear that the Buyer bears all risks of damage once the goods are onboard the ship at the port of shipment. However, it is common that the Insurer of the goods compensates the CIF Seller while the goods are damaged during the voyage although, according to the agreed CIF terms, the Seller is not responsible for any risk in the moment of the damage.

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AIYON Abogados attended the “Correspondents’ Conference” organised by the IG P & I Clubs

Thanks to the IG P&I GROUP for hosting us those days in London.

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A Jurisdiction Clause agreed between an Insurer of Civil Liability and a Policy Holder does not bind third parties

The Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in matter C-368/16, dated on the 13th of July of 2017, referred to the court for a preliminary ruling on the following question: can an injured party that has a direct action against the insurer of liability of the party that caused the damage bring an action against the insurer in the place where the harmful event occurred or is the injured party bound by the jurisdiction clause agreed between the insurer and the policy holder? Read more

AIYON Abogados attended the European Air Law Association (EALA) Seminar

AIYON Abogados attended the European Air Law Association (EALA) 11th Munich Liability Seminar through our colleagues Julia Garcia and Enrique Ortiz.
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MLC – requirements of financial security

In April 2014 the International Labour Organization (ILO) approved several amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), a Convention that became effective in August 2013. These amendments became effective on January 18th 2017.

Thereafter and in accordance with the Convention, ships shall be provided with certificates or other documents that establish the existence of financial security or compulsory Read more