Supreme Commercial Court to hear Kerch Strait oil spill case on October 8
ST. PETERSBURG, July 15 (RAPSI) - The Supreme Commercial Court will meet on October 8 to hear a request to review the lower courts' rulings on collecting 503.17 million rubles ($15.4 million) in damages for the 2007 oil spill in the Kerch Strait, the court said on its website.
The request was filed by the London-based International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1992, a defendant in the oil spill damages case, alongside Russian insurance company Ingosstrakh and the Volgatanker oil tanker shipping line.
Dozens of vessels crashed in the Kerch Strait during a storm on November 11, 2007. Over 1,200 metric tons of oil spilled into the sea from the Volgoneft-139 oil tanker.
The ruling on referring the case to the Supreme Commercial Court's Presidium says that the case revision should include determining the limits of the shipowner's liability for the purpose of calculating damages.
"The main issue to be considered during the case review is whether the shipowner's liability should be limited to 3 million special drawing rights (SDR) as stipulated in the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (CLC Convention), or increased to 4.51 million SDR in accordance with the 2000 Amendments to the convention," the ruling reads.
On June 19 the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Regional Commercial Court ordered the defendants to pay 437.88 million rubles ($13.4 million) in damages and 65.29 million rubles ($2 million) in interest.
Part of the compensation is to be paid from a special oil spill liability fund worth 116 million rubles ($3.55 million) established by the St. Petersburg Commercial Court in 2008.
The remaining funds will be paid by the IOPC Fund 1992.
The IOPC Funds are three intergovernmental organizations - the 1971 Fund, the 1992 Fund and the Supplementary Fund - which provide compensation for oil pollution damage resulting from spills of persistent oil from tankers, the organization's website reports.