Lawsuit against America’s Cup defender may seize boat
Published on February 19th, 2015
The AC45 “4 Oracle Team USA” may soon be arrested by the U.S. Marshals at its berth in San Francisco, pursuant to a lawsuit filed in Federal Court by a former crew member against America’s Cup defender Oracle Racing and the AC45 itself.
Joe Spooner, Oracle Racing’s former grinder and crew for two America’s Cup titles and three Fastnet Race wins, is claiming a seaman’s lien against the vessel for approximately $725,000 in unpaid wages, plus punitive damages, for an alleged wrongful discharge by Oracle Team USA.
Under maritime law of the United States, the vessel itself can be sued in Federal Court and be arrested by the U.S. Marshals pending the outcome of the suit.
The AC45 is raced in the America’s Cup World Series and used for America’s Cup training.