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Maersk settles $44m Ever Given lawsuit against Evergreen, BSM and Shoei Kisen

Maersk settles $44m Ever Given lawsuit against Evergreen, BSM and Shoei Kisen
Gary Dixon 1 December 2023

Danish giant confirms it has withdrawn its compensation claim over 2021 Suez Canal blockage

Danish line AP Moller-Maersk has settled a big compensation claim arising from the blockage of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given boxship in 2021.

In February, the giant shipowner sued charterer Evergreen, owner Shoei Kisen and technical manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement for around DKK 300m ($44m).

The 20,124-teu Ever Given (built 2018) lodged in the Suez Canal for six days, with huge knock-on effects for world trade.

Maersk said in an email to Bloomberg: “We can confirm that we have withdrawn the case in Denmark.”

The group would not disclose details of the settlement, however.

The claim was made at the Maritime and Commercial Court in Copenhagen.

Maersk said at the time the lawsuit was launched because the company suffered losses in connection with the grounding.

At least 400 ships were held up as a result of the blockage.

Estimates of the losses caused globally range from $30bn to $65bn.

In September 2022, TradeWinds reported a claim in court papers filed in London that the Ever Given sailed for 18 minutes above the 12-knot speed limit in the Suez Canal before the master lost control and grounded the ship.

Damages sought

A group of cargo owners and their insurers were claiming more than $325,000 in damages and costs from Shoei Kisen for negligence and breach of duty.

The Japanese owner has set up a £84m ($94m) fund through the UK courts designed to limit the payouts.

A court hearing in Egypt in 2021 was told that two pilots from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) on the bridge of the Ever Given argued about the ship’s passage through the canal.

The hearing was to decide damages for the SCA caused by the logjam.

The $1bn dispute was eventually settled via private negotiations between the SCA, Shoei Kisen Kaisha and protection and indemnity clubs.