Third-Party Rights and Agency Contracts

The warranty which a stevedore owes when s/he goes aboard a vessel to perform services is plainly for the benefit of the vessel whether the vessel’s owners are parties to the contract or not.  It brings the vessel into the zone of modern law that recognizes rights in third party beneficiaries.[i]

There is no per se exception of agency contracts from admiralty jurisdiction.[ii]  If the subject matter or services to be performed under the contract are maritime in nature, agency contracts fall within admiralty jurisdiction.[iii]

[i] Di Paola v. Int’l Terminal Operating Co., 294 F. Supp. 736 (S.D.N.Y. 1968)

[ii] Venezuelan Container Line C.A. v. Navitran Corp., 792 F. Supp. 1281 (S.D. Fla. 1991)

[iii] Maritima Petroleo e Engenharia Ltda v. Ocean Rig IA, 78 F. Supp. 2d 162 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)

Inside Third-Party Rights and Agency Contracts