Cape Bonny, 2017 (English High Court)

The case examined if Owners had exercised due diligence to make the vessel seaworthy when an engine breakdown occurred. The Commercial Court decided that the proximate cause of the engine breakdown was that a number of motor bearings were worn out and damaged from the beginning of the voyage. Owners, looking for any abnormal wear, had undertaken a check on crankweb deflections a few months prior to the engine breakdown. Whilst the readings were well within limits, it was crucial that there was an unusual increase in the deflections as opposed to the crankweb's previous readings. The fact that owners did not act on that was held by the Court to amount to a breach of owners' due diligence obligations; as a result cargo owners were not liable to make a GA contribution. The Judgement emphasizes on owners’ actions to carry out vessel condition surveys and regular inspections in order to avoid such engine and machinery defects to check wear in order to minimize chances for owners bearing alone heavy GA expenses.