United States District Court, District of Alaska
In Maritech Marine Services, LLC v. Bay Welding Services, Inc., 593 F. Supp. 3d 902 (D. Alaska
2022), the court held that genuine issues of material fact as to the scope of a maritime contract
between a vessel owner and a custom boat manufacturer precluded summary judgment. (Id. at
909). Vessel chartering company Maritech approached custom boat manufacturer Bay Weld for a
remodel and upgrade of its Lightning catamaran. (Id. at 905). The parties’ contract provided for
an upgrade of the boat’s jets, a full internal inspection, and addition of a new control system. (Id.
at 906). After multiple issues with the new control system on the Lightning, the owner of Maritech,
while in control of the boat, ran into a fuel dock and damaged the vessel. (Id. at 907). Maritech
brought claims against Bay Weld for breach of contract, negligence, breach of implied warranty
of workmanlike performance, and violation of Alaska’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA),
alleging the Lightning’s collision with the fuel dock was a result of Bay Weld’s negligence in
providing the Lightning’s new control system. (Id. at 908). Maritech filed motions for summary
judgment on all claims, but the district court concluded that Bay Weld met its burden in
demonstrating numerous genuine disputes of material fact for each claim. (Id. at 908–09).
Specifically, on the breach of contract claim the court found that provisions of the contract in
dispute were ambiguous, and the parties’ extrinsic evidence meant that a reasonable factfinder
could find for either party. (Id. at 911). Denying Maritech’s motion for summary judgment, the
district court held that genuine issues of material fact as to the scope of a maritime contract between
Maritech and Bay Weld precluded summary judgment. (Id. at 909).