Widow Wins Supreme Court Decision to Take Legal Action Against Scapa Flow Charters

lawThe mother of a young child is taking legal action against Scapa Flow Charters over the death of her husband 6 years ago.

On the 14th of August 2012  Lex Warner who had chartered Scapa Flow Charters for a few days of diving fell on the deck whilst getting ready to dive. Despite the fall he went ahead with the dive to a depth of 88 meters. Mr Warner got into difficulties and unfortunately died as a result.

Mr Warner’s widow, Debbie Warner, raised an action against Scapa Flow Charters (SFC) in which she alleged that her husband’s death was the result of SFC’s negligence.

She sought damages both as an individual and as a guardian of their young son, who had been born in November 2011.

SFC lodged a defence that the action was time barred under the Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea 1974 (“the Athens Convention”), which, in the case of a death occurring during carriage, imposes a time bar of two years from the date on which the passenger would have disembarked.

The Supreme Court,  which can rule on civil cases in Scots Law, agreed that the time bar counted in the case of Mrs Warner but that it did not apply to her son. This means that Mrs Warner, on behalf of her son, can now proceed with legal action.

You can view the judgment here: Supreme Court Decision



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