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Mermaid not involved in Gulf litigation
Mermaid not involved in Gulf litigation

Mermaid Marine Australia says it is not a party to talks with some victims of a Gulf of Mexico accident which killed four people to settle their lawsuit against the companies involved in the tragedy.

Mermaid said in an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange that it was not involved in any negotiations with the plaintiffs.

"MMA understands that early negotiations around settlements have commenced between some of the plaintiffs and the other defendant companies involved in the US legal proceedings," the company said.

A headline in <i>The West Australian</i> today incorrectly stated that Mermaid was involved in the talks.

US companies Geokinetics Inc and Trinity Liftboat Services are the other defendants in the case where two survivors and the family of one of the dead are seeking damages of up to $US34 million ($31.5 million).

Mermaid said the company considered it was adequately covered by contractual indemnities and insurance in relation to the claims and any others which might arise over the incident.

The four workers, one of them Australian, died in September after joining other crew in abandoning their crippled liftboat at an offshore exploration site during tropical storm Nate.

Lawyers for the victims accused Mermaid Marine's vessel Mermaid Vigilance, which was in the vicinity during the storm, of abandoning the liftboat crew by sailing away to reach shelter.

"Mermaid believes that the master of the Mermaid Vigilance made the right decision in the circumstances to protect the lives of the 37 people on board," the company said.

"The company will continue to defend the claims against it."