Under the Canada Shipping Act, Judge Kathryn Denhoff acquitted the ship of charges Thursday, accepting the ship's defence that it used due diligence in the case.
She also acknowledged that the company had a comprehensive safety system in place, as well as an extensive pollution prevention systems, ruling that the discharge came from shipbuilder defects which neither the owner nor crew could have discovered a priori on the newbuilding.
The decision has spurred reactions from environmental groups and official bodies.
The City of Vancouver expressed its disappointment over the fact that the charged related to this oil spill have been dismissed.
The City will continue in its efforts to recover the expenses it incurred as a result from the oil spill. The city’s claim for compensation is under the Marine Liability Act which imposes a different standard of liability than the quasi-criminal charges brought under different statutes that were the subject matter of court decision.
In February 2017, the City submitted claims for $550 to cover costs incurred as a result from the spill.
Accordingly, the city does not anticipate that the court’s decision will have any impact on its cost recovery claims.
In March, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that the Greek owner Alassia Newships Management Inc., was not properly served a summons notice so the trial proceeded only against the Marathassa.