Saturday, February 26, 2011

FV Trident RFI - The development risks defence [*]


In earlier posts, concerning the Derbyshire and the Gaul disasters [http://mv-derbyshire.blogspot.com/2008/10/dry-run-for-litigation.html], we have highlighted the fact that formal investigations into maritime casualties are mainly driven, not by a desire to seek out the truth of the matter, but by the over-arching principle that any form of litigation ,which could be harmful to Government or the British Establishment, must be avoided at all costs.

We have now seen that, throughout the Trident RFI, this principle has remained the primary driver of events.

An example of this can be seen in Question 5, posed by the AG: 
5. At the commencement of her last voyage was the Trident unseaworthy (as determined by the standards which applied in 1974)…

This question enabled the Sheriff to give a ruling, which would support the ‘development risks defence’ argument, in any future product liability case, where compensation was sought.

His response, in paragraph [49], states:

What happened to the Trident on the day of her loss was not reasonably foreseeable to anyone in light of the knowledge and understanding of the design and construction of seagoing vessels available at the time.

While the clear intention of the Sheriff’s statement is to support any future ‘development risks defence’ argument, the statement in itself is clearly nonsense. In 1974, fishing vessel capsizes were an all too frequent occurrence and what happened to the Trident was, in fact, foreseeable; that is why, at that time in the UK, there was a requirement for fishing vessels to be designed and constructed to meet the IMCO minimum stability standard.

It is our belief that public inquiries should be about seeking the truth, not about providing cover for potential defendants.

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[*] http://www.jstor.org/pss/4507206

2 comments:

steven said...

I put my faith in that mans face at the top of this link with the expectancy of the truth given the factual evidence he had before him,Not some hindcast computor bullshit from a snotty nosed college graduate thats never seen the north sea,Where in sir stephens report does it tell of Peter Johnstones testimony that his boat was turned from a submarine to a life boat with the addition of balast!!Too late for the Trident tho due to the department of trades incompetancy.
And a quick response to the annon who posted that the families take the verdict on the chin and move on..If you were half a man you would have posted your name,If you had lost a father in this way and been wronged..decieved..taxpayer or not, I suggest you read the whole case or move on yourself.
Thank you Gadfly for your continued support
SJT Son of trident

gadfly said...

Hi Steven

Many thanks for your comment.

If we can no longer rely on Judges (and Sheriffs) to deliver justice when given ample and compelling evidence that should lead to justice, then what does this say of today's Britain?

Not much I'm afraid!!!

We're disgusted.

Best regards