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Norway cruise line

Norwegian Received a $159 Million Damage Settlement From ABB

Norway Cruise Line emerged victorious in a long drawn-out dispute with its passenger’s cruise ships and their propulsion units. The jury awarded NCL $159 million in damages.

The litigation was initiated in the Miami-Dade circuit, Florida in 2020. In the case, Norwegian alleges that ABB was aware of problems with their thrusters but failed to disclose them and made misleading statements about their system after the first instance of a failure. This failure occurred on the Norwegian Star in 2017; the Azipod thrusters of the ship failed, leading to it being stranded at sea. This was followed by thruster failures in three other NCL cruise ships.

In 2012, ABB’s field engineers observed that cracks began appearing on the Azipod’s exciter stators over time. Norwegian’s lawyer team pointed to a report that was published in 2012, in which these observations were made by ABB field engineers. At no point did Norwegian ever believe that this problem was extremely rare.

Troubles with Norwegian “Energy” vessels’ thrusters have been widely known since 2017, but ABB failed to mention that the damage was already done and could not be repaired.

After being involved in the lawsuit with Norwegian and ABB, the jury was able to conclude that ABB had misrepresented their thrusters. They omitted critical information in their disclosures following the first failure aboard the Norwegian Star. As an award, Norwegian received $31.75 million in compensatory damages and $127 million in punitive damages.

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