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Maritime Attorneys Obtain Jury Verdict Using Force Majeure Defense
July 14, 2009

Partner Jefferson R. Tillery and special counsel Elizabeth S. Healy recently tried a maritime collision case to a jury in federal court in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The client, F&S Marine, tied certain barges up to a dock prior to the arrival of Hurricane Rita in 2005. The barges broke away and took out a nearby railroad bridge, whose owner sued F&S for negligence, arguing that F&S failed to properly secure the barges in preparation for the storm. Using marine safety experts and a meteorologist, F&S argued that it should be exonerated because the incident was the result of an Act of God. The jury returned a verdict in favor of F&S Marine.