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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

ACE American Insurance Company lawsuit against Fujifilm division in subrogation claim over a damaged yacht.

June 16, 2011 - ACE American Insurance Co. has sued a company to recover damages allegedly caused by its negligence as it worked to replace a special hull coating on a sailboat.

The insurance company named Fujifilm Smart Surfaces LLC, of Allendale, N.J. in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Also named a defendant was Carr Creek Marina, of Annapolis.

The complaint alleges that the Patriot, a 1982-model Hinckley yacht, was being stored at Carr Creek on May 26, 2009, when it fell off supporting jackstands. This substantially damaged the hull, rigging and interior of Patriot, ACE alleged. ACE further claims that, when it fell, the Patriot reportedly damaged an adjacent sailboat as well.

According to the complaint ACE filed the lawsuit as subrogee of Joseph P. and Marybeth Morris, owners of the Patriot. ACE asserts that Joseph Morris had developed a silicone-based antifouling system while he worked for the U.S. Navy and acquired rights to it after he retired. The complaint also alleges that he then worked with Fujifilm to further develop the coating, and during that time applied it to the 42-foot-long Patriot.

ACE asserts that after Joseph Morris died in September 2008 and the boat was put up for sale, Fujifilm approached Mrs. Morris about removing the proprietary coating from Patriot and said it would, at its expense, replace it with another coating. According to ACE, the ship was being stored on land, on jackstands, when it toppled off.

ACE claims the damages cost ACE $97,118.34. It said in its complaint that they were a result of the defendants’ breach of their agreement to perform their obligations in a safe, workmanlike manner.

According to ACE, the boat had been entrusted to the care and control of the defendants, who acted as bailees of the Patriot. The complaint asserts they breached their bailment obligations and failed to return the yacht to Mrs. Morris in as good a condition as when it was entrusted to them.

Fujifilm Smart Surfaces is a division of the Japanese domiciled Fujifilm Corporation (NASDAQ: FUJIY, TYO: 4901) that provides fouling release solutions and application for boats.

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