U.S. Court Reinstates Controversial RICO Award

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York recently expanded the scope of maritime arbitration with respect to voyage charter party disputes by reversing a federal district court order vacating the first maritime arbitration to utilize the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO.

The controversial Triumph award and the district court’s decision were subjects of Sea Law columns on April 12 and Aug. 2, 1990.

The principal issue on appeal was whether a New York maritime arbitration panel exceeded its authority under a voyage charter party (requiring all differences and disputes of whatsoever nature arising out of the charter to be arbitrated) by considering evidence from prior voyages to prove a civil RICO