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Mrs. Lowell: Legal and Ethical Environment of Business


Flags of Convenience have continued to be used by Maritime companies to perform their business activities. However, the flags are registered in countries that have questionable legal environment. Companies take advantage of the weak legal frameworks to register in the countries, and therefore escape stringent requirements in the developed nations, where they usually perform business.

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This is the case with BSSL that has all its ship registered in the country of Liberia. The case addressed in this analysis involves a situation where passengers were robbed of their variables. A gentleman passenger suffered a fatal heart attack as he wrestled with the thieves who had been members of cabin crew. This analysis will address how a legal issue regarding damages on passengers could be addressed had the BSSL vessel been registered in the Unites States.

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According to the United States maritime Admiralty Law, Mrs. Lowell case has be dealt with at the federal courts (Legal Database, 2008). Individual state courts do not have a jurisdiction on the matter. Therefore, the state where BSSL could be registered cannot listen to the case. This arises from fact that all matters of maritime are in the Admiral Law left to the federal government. Mrs. Lowell therefore embark on filing the case in federal courts instead of state ones. This will save time and therefore lead to the matter being resolved in a speedy manner. On top of being a requirement, filing the court at the federal level leads to national authorities being briefed on the occurrence and therefore embark on taking necessary measures against the company.

The Admiralty law further states that ship owners are duty bound to reasonably take best care of passengers and their property. BSSL management and crew were therefore obligated in ensuing that Mr. and Mrs. Lowell, their cash, jewelery and property were safe during the vacation.

Unfortunately, the cabin crew failed in this duty. Indeed, the individuals tasked with the responsibility of taking care of the passengers property and personal safety ended up being criminals. The company cold therefore be said to have negated its primary duty and thus liable to paying the due fine according the law. This includes compensating that passengers because of harm caused.

The passengers are also obligated to take the responsibility of reporting the matter to the appropriate company officials. Most importantly, the passengers have to file the case with a federal court within one year of incidence (Mangone, 1997, p. 141). This arises from conditions on vacation tickets. In addition to filing the case with a federal court, Mrs. Lowell will have to provide conclusive evidence that harm was indeed caused. This should not be a hard task for Mrs. Lowell because she has enough evidence regarding the financial, body and emotional harm that happed as a result of theft and attack as she and the husband tried to confront the thieves.

BSSL management have to undertake several measures in order to complement Mrs. Lowell. First, the company should offer to pay back the stolen goods and cash. This should indeed the beginning point. Though the lawyer has already requested the company to pay damages amounting to US$10 million, the company should feel obliged to compensate. The company should further be willing to embark on negotiating the compensation with the lawyer.

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According to the Hughes (2006, p. 400) maritime operators and the clients lawyers could decide to settle the matter out of court. This could lead to the issue being dealt with in a short period of time, and each party quickly embark on other activities. In addition, the company will avoid a situation where it could be dragged into media scrutiny and end up destroying its reputation.

The company should further consider helping Mrs. Lowell with medical and counseling bills should she consider undergoing such treatment. It is especially important for Mrs. Lowell to consider getting professional help for the anguish she could be undergoing. Company lawyers or officials dealing with the case should persuade Mrs. Lowell lawyers to consider such an option. This is especially important considering that she was on vacation when the matter happened. Fact that her husband suffered a fatal heart attack could be compounding the psychological pains that Mrs. Lowell could be undergoing. Failure to take this measure could lead to matters becoming more complicated in the future.

Other than taking the above measures because they are required by law, the company should consider that dealing with Mrs. Lowell well would be plus to its customer relations department. This calls for the company to take all the necessary measures of helping their former client deal with the sorry situation. Taking such measures would lead to future passengers understanding that the company will deal with any unfortunate occurrence conclusively. In addition, being cooperative would lead to Mrs. Lowell understanding the company has her best interest at heart. This positive mentality will go into far lengths in contributing to successful resolutions in the case.


In addition to conclusively dealing with Mrs. Lowell case, the company should embark on developing measures that will prevent such an occurrence again. This should start by investigating how the members of staff knew there was cash and valuables in respective cabin, how they planned the robbery, and the possibility of having colluded with individuals still working in the vessel. Such measure will help in understanding any problems in company operations, and consequently embark on fixing them.

In addition, the investigation will help in the process of seeing potential bleaches in company operations and equally embark on fixing them in most efficient ways. Secondly, the management should embark on implementing the operational standards stipulated by the International Council of Cruise Lines (CLIA, 2008). The crew members should be provided with these laws and be required to follow practice in their day to day activities. Crew members and all new members of staff should be made to read and comprehend the best practices applied in the field. In addition, the company should perform regular investigation on whether the practices were being followed.

Employees should be made to understand the importance following the industrial standards. Further, BSSL management should do its best to ensure that employees were invited in the development of the practices applied in the day to day running of vessel operations. Such measures would indeed leave employees well motivated and thus help each other during the implementation of the new rules. End beneficiaries of such system would include various stakeholder groups. Indeed, the employees would benefits from improved working conditions and understanding with the managements, the passengers would benefit from higher quality services provided by motivated employees, and the company will benefit from increased customer satisfaction that leads to better revenues.


CLIA. (2008). Policies & Resources. Web.

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Hughes, R. (2006). Admiral Law Handbook. New York: AMC.

Legal Database. (2008). Admiralty Law. Web.

Mangone, G. (1997). Admiralty Law. New York: Nijhoff.

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