Maersk settled a high-profile sexual assault lawsuit “Midshipman X”.
A Law suit which gained attention
Maersk settled a high-profile sexual assault lawsuit “Midshipman X” this week. The company’s U.S. subsidiary Maersk Line Limited resolved the lawsuit jointly with a cadet who sued the company for sexual assault. The case gained attention as more awareness were spread regarding charges of sexual assault at sea. The plaintiff Ms. Hope Hicks sued Maersk in June 2019.
A joint statement released by Maersk and Hicks a former midshipman who previously identified herself as “Midshipman X,” said that they have “resolved” the case. Furthermore attorneys from both side mutually agreed to not disclose the details of their agreement.
The Assault took place in 2019 when Hick was 19, completing her sea year as a midshipman at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. She published an account of the experience including assault and rape aboard the Alliance Fairfax by a 60-plus-year-old first engineer. The Sea Year program was then suspended with Maersk and MARAD starting an investigation.
“It is important to me that my case has brought greater awareness of the issue of sexual assault and harassment at sea,” said Hicks in the joint statement. “The leadership of MLL has expressed the need for change. The changes that MLL has proposed are an important first step, but there is still a lot of work to be done in the maritime industry.”
Another case surfaced a year after the Hicks publication. A second cadet had reportedly sued Maersk subsidiary for sexual assualt. She identified herself as “Midshipman Y” and the settlement talks are currently in progress with the next court hearing scheduled next month.
“We want to be absolutely clear that the events Ms. Hicks describes are unacceptable. No matter who and where you are, those who work with us must feel safe and protected in our work environment,”. Said William Woodhour, CEO of Maersk Line, Limited in the joint statement.
After Maersk settled a high-profile sexual assault lawsuit “Midshipman X”, the USMMA has now resumed its Sea Year training.