COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2020
|Commitments And Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||
5. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
We are subject to various routine legal proceedings in the normal conduct of our business, primarily involving commercial disputes and claims, workers’ compensation claims, and claims for personal injury under general maritime laws of the U.S. and the Jones Act. While the outcome of these lawsuits, legal proceedings and claims cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe that the outcome of any such proceedings, even if determined adversely, would not have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
MPSV Termination Letter
During the first quarter 2018, we received notices of termination of the contracts for the construction of two MPSVs from one of our Shipyard Division customers. We dispute the purported terminations and disagree with the customer’s reasons for such terminations. Pending the resolution of the dispute, we have ceased all work and the partially completed vessels and associated equipment and materials remain at our facility in Houma, Louisiana. The customer also made claims under the bonds issued by the Surety in connection with the construction of the vessels. We have discussed with the Surety our disagreement with the customer's purported terminations and its claims and continue to confer with the Surety regarding the dispute with the customer.
On October 2, 2018, we filed a lawsuit against the customer to enforce our rights and remedies under the applicable construction contracts. Our lawsuit disputes the propriety of the customer’s purported terminations of the construction contracts and seeks to recover damages associated with the customer’s actions. The customer filed its response to our lawsuit denying many of the allegations in the lawsuit and asserting a counterclaim against us seeking, among other things, declaratory judgment as to the validity of the customer’s purported terminations of the construction contracts and other purported claims for which the customer is seeking damages in an unspecified amount. We have filed a response to the counterclaim denying all of the customer’s claims. The customer subsequently filed an amendment to its counterclaim to add claims by the customer against the Surety. The customer also filed a motion for partial summary judgment with the trial court seeking, among other things, to obtain possession of the vessels. A hearing on the motion was held on May 28, 2019, and the customer's request to obtain possession of the vessels was denied by the trial court. The customer subsequently filed a second motion for partial summary judgment re-urging its previously denied request to obtain possession of the vessels. A hearing on the second motion was held on November 5, 2019, and the customer’s request to obtain possession of the vessels was again denied by the trial court. Thereafter, the customer requested that the appellate court exercise its discretion and review the trial court’s denial of the customer’s second motion. We have opposed the discretionary appellate review request of the customer and the appellate matter is pending, but has been stayed as a result of the customer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case discussed below. Discovery in connection with the lawsuit has also been stayed as a result of the customer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
On May 19, 2020, the customer filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The customer’s prepackaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganization has since been confirmed by the bankruptcy court and the plan of reorganization is now effective.
In connection with its bankruptcy case, on June 3, 2020, the customer filed an adversary proceeding, again seeking possession of the vessels. In response, we filed a motion to dismiss the adversary proceeding and to allow the dispute regarding the vessels and the construction contracts to continue in state court where our lawsuit against the customer is currently stayed. On September 1, 2020, a hearing was held in connection with the motion to dismiss; however, the bankruptcy court’s decision was delayed to allow the parties to mediate the entire dispute. The parties engaged in an unsuccessful mediation on September 29, 2020. A conference with the bankruptcy court was subsequently held on October 14, 2020, to review the status of the adversary proceeding, which was adjourned to November 6, 2020 to allow the parties the opportunity to attempt to negotiate the terms and conditions of a potential voluntary turnover of the vessels to the customer. We continue to hold first priority security interests and liens against the vessels that secure the obligations owed to us by the customer.
We are unable to estimate the probability of a favorable or unfavorable outcome with respect to the dispute or estimate the amount of potential loss, if any, related to this matter. We can provide no assurances that we will not incur additional costs as we pursue our rights and remedies under the contracts and defend against the customer’s claims. At September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, other noncurrent assets on our Balance Sheet included a net contract asset of $12.5 million, which consisted of our contract asset, accrued contract losses, and deferred revenue balances at the time of the customer's purported terminations of the contracts.
We may be exposed to future losses through our use of deductibles and self-insured retentions for our exposures related to third party liability and workers' compensation. We expect liabilities in excess of any deductibles and self-insured retentions to be covered by insurance. To the extent we are self-insured, reserves are recorded based upon our estimates, with input from legal and insurance advisors. Changes in assumptions, as well as changes in actual experience, could cause these estimates to change. See Note 2 for discussion of insurance deductibles incurred during the third quarter 2020 associated with damage caused by Hurricane Laura.
Letters of Credit and Surety Bonds
We obtain letters of credit under our Credit Agreement or surety bonds from financial institutions to provide to our customers in order to secure advance payments or guarantee performance under our contracts, or in lieu of retention being withheld on our contracts. With respect to a letter of credit under our Credit Agreement, any payment in the event of non-performance under a contract would become a borrowing under our Credit Agreement and thus a direct obligation. With respect to a surety bond, any payment in the event of non-performance is subject to indemnification of the Surety by us, which may require us to borrow under our Credit Agreement. When a contract is complete, the contingent obligation terminates, and letters of credit or surety bonds are returned. See Note 4 for further discussion of our Credit Agreement and surety bonds.
Our operations are subject to extensive and changing U.S. federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as the laws of other countries that establish health and environmental quality standards. These standards, among others, relate to air and water pollutants and the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes. We are exposed to potential liability for personal injury or property damage caused by any release, spill, exposure or other accident involving such pollutants, substances or wastes. In connection with the historical operation of our facilities, including those associated with acquired operations, substances which currently are or might be considered hazardous were used or disposed of at some sites that will or may require us to make expenditures for remediation. We believe we are in compliance, in all material respects, with environmental laws and regulations and maintain insurance coverage to mitigate exposure to environmental liabilities. We do not believe any environmental matters will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flow.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef