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Appeals from the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana

This dispute arises out of the collision of the M/V Mallard, a twenty-six foot recreational crew boat, and the M/V Geerd Tide, a one-hundred foot crew boat, in Louisiana territorial waters. When the vessels collided, the M/V Mallard capsized and six of her passengers drowned. One passenger was seriously injured but survived. None of the twenty-nine people aboard the M/V Geerd Tide died or suffered serious injury.

Following the collision, Tidewater, Inc., Tidewater Marine, Inc. n/k/a Tidewater Marine L.L.C., and Twenty Grand Offshore, Inc.(collectively referred to as “Tidewater”), owners and owners pro hac vice of the M/V Geerd Tide, filed a Complaint for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability in federal district court pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 46 of the United States Code (“the Limitation Act”), which limits a vessel owner’s liability to the value of the vessel and its pending freight. Vermillion Corp., owner of the M/V Mallard, filed a separate limitation proceeding in the same court. Later, the federal district court consolidated the Tidewater and Vermillion limitation proceedings, and entered an order enjoining the commencement or prosecution of any and all suits against Tidewater or Vermillion arising out of the collision.

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