Federal Court Throws Out ABS Counter Claim against Spain

In May, 2002, Spain brought a suit against ABS, accusing it of negligence for classifying the "Prestige" as seaworthy.

In response to the Spanish lawsuit, ABS countered with its own suit which claimed that Spain had mishandled the situation by ordering the "Prestige" out to sea, disregarding the vessel's repeated distress calls for sanctuary under a "place of refuge" plea.

The U.S. District Court in New York ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear a case against Spain.

The 26-year old Liberian-flag tanker eventually sank in rough seas off the Galicia coast in November, 2002, while transporting 77,000 tons of fuel oil. The tanker lost the majority of its fuel oil, which polluted the beaches of Spain and France.

The Spanish government claims that its fishing, tourism, and natural environment losses are more than $6 billion.