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Legal 500 (2016)

Family Waiting For Tunisian Appeal Court Decision After Father Dies At Sea

Irwin Mitchell solicitors are acting for the Craft family, following Mr Clive Craft’s tragic death at sea on 22 April 2005.

Mr Craft was giving technical assistance to a company working on oil fields off the coast of Tunisia. On the date of the accident, Mr Craft was a passenger on a tug boat 'Norseman' that was travelling from an oil rig platform to the shore, when the tug boat caught fire and the crew had to abandon ship.  Mr Craft subsequently drowned.

Mr Craft's widow, Mrs Pauline Craft, and her adult children, have issued court proceedings in Tunis for damages as a result of Mr Craft’s death.  The court of first instance in Tunis awarded the family compensation for their moral damage, which equates to compensation for the loss of their loved one.  However, the court declined to award the family any compensation for their loss of financial dependency on Mr Craft.  The Craft family have therefore appealed this decision, and are awaiting the decision of the Tunisian Appeal Court.

The Craft family named several defendants in the Tunisian proceedings, including the insurers of the tug boat.  This particular claim was settled for £30,000 plus costs in the English Courts, following proceedings in the High Court of Justice.

The appeal was due to be heard in Tunis at the end of 2009, and the Craft family are eagerly awaiting the appeal decision.

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