Daltech manufactured the DVB80, a chemical in a container on board the MSC Flaminia, which was ignited by a spark, and led to the explosion and subsequent fire.

Stolt booked transport on the Flaminia, and is responsible for trucking the DVB to New Orleans Terminal (NOT).


As the court said, there is factual support that Deltech breached several duties of care under COGSA, general maritime law, and tort principles. Deltech breached its duties by allowing a shipment of DVB80 to be booked in June for departure from NOT and compounded this error by allowing early filling of Tanks I, J, and K. It also failed to take actions it could have taken to ensure measurement of the temperature of the ISO containers before loading onto the Flaminia, or recalling the Tanks before loading aboard the vessel altogether.

The court noted that Stolt has 45% responsibility, while Deltech is responsible by 55%. Thus, the financial responsibility for the cargo loss was assigned to Stolt and Deltech.

As for MSC, the court decided that there is insufficient factual support for breach of the duty of care as to MSC whether with regard to oversight of NOT, stowage aboard the Flaminia, or general handling of the DVB and DPA cargo here.

On July 14, 2012, the MSC Flaminia was crossing the Atlantic Ocean bound for Antwerp, Belgium. The vessel had departed from New Orleans, Louisiana fourteen days earlier and was loaded with cargo. Early on the morning of July 14, alarms began to sound; a smoky cloud rose from one of the holds; and an explosion followed shortly thereafter.

The Court previously found that the explosion was the result of runaway auto-polymerization of cargo consisting of 80% grade divinylbenze (DVB80), stowed in one of the holds.