The UK Supreme Court has confirmed that a defective passage plan can render ships legally unseaworthy in a long-running case involving a CMA CGM boxship that grounded off China in 2011.

More litigation involving other casualties could now arise following the decision that backed up earlier rulings in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

The case sets an important precedent that the responsibility of a shipowner to ensure a vessel is seaworthy cannot be palmed off on to a master and crew.