COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2022
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
Routine Legal Proceedings
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 legal proceedings 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 liquidity.
On March 19, 2018, our subsidiary, Gulf Island Shipyards, LLC (“GIS”), received termination notices from its customer, Hornbeck Offshore Services, LLC (“Hornbeck”), of the contracts for the construction of two MPSVs. GIS disputed the purported terminations and disagreed with Hornbeck’s reasons for such terminations. After receipt of such notices, GIS ceased all work and the partially completed vessels and associated equipment and materials remain in its possession in Houma, Louisiana. GIS continues to hold first priority security interests and possessory liens against the MPSVs securing the obligations GIS believes it is owed by Hornbeck under the construction contracts. Hornbeck also made claims against the performance bonds issued by the Surety in connection with the construction of the vessels, for which the face amount of the bonds total $50.0 million (“Performance Bonds”).
On October 2, 2018, GIS filed a lawsuit against Hornbeck to enforce its rights and remedies under the applicable construction contracts for the two MPSVs. The lawsuit was filed in the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of St. Tammany, State of Louisiana and is styled Gulf Island Shipyards, LLC v. Hornbeck Offshore Services, LLC, bearing docket number 2018-14861 (“MPSV Litigation”). Hornbeck responded to the lawsuit denying many of GIS’s allegations and asserted a counterclaim against GIS seeking damages. GIS filed a response to the counterclaim denying all of Hornbeck’s claims. Hornbeck subsequently amended its counterclaim to add claims against the Surety and additional claims against GIS.
Following previously disclosed developments in the litigation, on November 16, 2022, Hornbeck filed motions for partial summary judgment against GIS seeking the dismissal of GIS’s claim that Hornbeck wrongfully terminated the vessel construction contracts. On January 31, 2023, the trial court granted Hornbeck’s motions. GIS appealed such decision, and on March 2, 2023, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision, thereby reinstating GIS’s wrongful termination claim. As a result of the appellate court’s ruling, the trial, previously scheduled to begin on March 6, 2023, has been rescheduled to begin on October 16, 2023.
GIS continues to believe that Hornbeck wrongfully terminated the construction contracts and is liable to GIS for damages, including amounts due to GIS for unpaid work. However, Hornbeck is seeking damages against GIS based on Hornbeck’s estimates of the cost to complete the vessels and its claims for lost profits (all of which are disputed by GIS) that together significantly exceed the face amount of the Performance Bonds. GIS believes that Hornbeck will only be entitled to recover damages if it is determined that Hornbeck rightfully terminated the construction contracts and if Hornbeck can prove it incurred damages. Further, GIS believes that Hornbeck is only entitled to recover damages for lost profits if GIS is found to have breached the construction contracts in bad faith and if the waiver of consequential damages that is included in the construction contracts is found to be ineffective. GIS also believes that Hornbeck has significantly overstated its damages, a belief that is supported by GIS and the Surety’s expert evaluations.
Due to inherent uncertainties of litigation, there is a range of potential favorable or unfavorable outcomes with respect to the disputed claims, and the amount of GIS’s potential recovery or loss, if any, or the timing of payment thereof, are uncertain. We can provide no assurances that GIS will not incur additional costs as it pursues its rights and remedies under the construction contracts and defends against Hornbeck’s claims. An unfavorable outcome to GIS in the litigation could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity and would be accounted for as a reversal of previously recognized revenue with respect to the construction contracts to the extent of any loss.
At both December 31, 2022 and 2021, other noncurrent assets on our Balance Sheet included a net contract asset of $12.5 million, representing GIS’s net receivable amount (after giving effect to purported liquidated damages of $11.2 million) at the time of Hornbeck’s purported terminations of the construction contracts; however, an unfavorable outcome in the litigation could result in a loss from the write-off of the contract asset, or portions thereof.
We maintain insurance coverage for various aspects of our business and operations. However, we may be exposed to future losses due to coverage limitations and our use of deductibles and self-insured retentions for our exposures related to property and equipment damage, builders’ risk, third-party liability, and workers' compensation and USL&H claims. We expect liabilities in excess of any deductibles and self-insured retentions to be covered by insurance; however, because we do not have an offset right, we have recorded a liability for estimated amounts in excess of our deductibles, and have recorded a corresponding asset related to estimated insurance recoveries, on our Balance Sheet. 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 2022 and 2021 associated with damage caused by Hurricanes Ida.
Letters of Credit and Surety Bonds
We obtain letters of credit under our LC Facility 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. Letters of credit under our LC Facility are subject to cash securitization of the full amount of the outstanding letters of credit. In the event of non-performance under a contract, our cash securitization with respect to the letter of credit supporting such contract would become property of Whitney Bank. With respect to surety bonds, including the construction contracts associated with our MPSV Litigation, payments by the Surety pursuant to a bond in the event of non-performance are subject to reimbursement to the Surety by us under a general indemnity agreement. Such indemnification obligations may include the face amount of the surety bond, or portions thereof, as well as other reimbursable items such as interest and certain investigative expenses and legal fees of the Surety. Such indemnification obligations would require us to use our cash, cash equivalents or short-term investments, and we may not have sufficient liquidity to satisfy such indemnification obligations. When a contract is complete, the contingent obligation terminates, and letters of credit or surety bonds are returned. See Note 6 for further discussion of our LC Facility 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.
We maintain operating leases for our corporate office and certain operating facilities and equipment. See Note 5 for further discussion of our leases.