The Federal Maritime Commission will decide whether or not the Puerto Rico Ports Authority has immunity that protects it from complaints filed by private industry.
The commission on Tuesday ordered the port authority and complainants in three cases, Odyssea Stevedoring of Puerto Rico, International Shipping Agency, and San Antonio Maritime Corp. to file briefs by Dec. 22. In all three, the companies charged the port authority with several violations of the Shipping Act of 1984.
The FMC will decide if the port authority is protected by a state's sovereign immunity from private suits. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state port authorities, as an arm of state government, had immunity in a case involving the South Carolina Ports Authority.
-- R.G. Edmonson in Washington