Maersk quietly settled $44M lawsuit over Ever Given Suez Canal grounding


A satellite image of the Ever Given grounded in the Suez Canal.
Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies

  • Shipping giant Maersk has settled a case over the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal.
  • The terms of the deal are unclear.
  • Maersk says more than 50 of its ships were severely delayed by the blocking of the canal in 2021.

Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk has settled out of court a major lawsuit over the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal in 2021, according to multiple reports.

When the lawsuit was first reported by Danish news site Shipping Watch in February, Maersk had sought about $44 million from several entities connected to the ship. These included its operator Evergreen, Bernhard Schulte Ship Management, as well as its owners, Japanese company Shoei Kisen.

That case has now ended.

“We can confirm that we have withdrawn the case in Denmark,” an unnamed Maersk spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Janina von Spalding, a spokesperson for the ship’s technical manager Bernhard Schulte Ship Management, told Business Insider that the agreement was reached in September.

“All the parties involved are satisfied,” she said. She did not disclose its terms.

According to Shipping Watch, Maersk had estimated that about 50 of its ships had been severely delayed by the blocking of the Suez Canal.

Both Evergreen and Bernhard Schulte Ship Management have denied having any responsibility for damages, Shipping Watch reported. Shoei Kisen could not be reached for comment.

At around 7.40 a.m. local time on March 23, 2021, the nearly 200-foot-wide, 1,300-foot-long container ship the Ever Given became firmly lodged at both ends in the banks of the Suez Canal.

Over the frantic six-day period that followed, authorities worked to unstick the ship, along with its 18,000 containers, from the canal.

At the time, the blockage of the vital waterway — which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean — was estimated to be costing the global economy around $400 million per hour.

Lawsuits abounded, with the Suez Canal Authority seizing the ship and initially asking $916 million from its owners, before it was released under undisclosed terms weeks after the incident.

Maersk’s case, coming some two years after the grounding, was anticipated to be particularly complicated due to the multiple countries where the various parties are based. Hearings had been anticipated to begin around early 2024.

According to shipping news outlet Maritime Executive, the Maersk case was being closely watched by relevant companies worldwide as a potential roadmap for further litigation.

Maersk did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The Ever Given continues to sail, and as of Monday was at the port of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, according to ship-tracking site Marine Traffic.



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