Associated Gas & Oil Company, Limited bought two self-elevating liftboats -- Nicole and Kaitlyn -- from Offshore Marine Inc. (OMI) pursuant to an asset purchase agreement. Under the agreement, OMI agreed to install additional living quarters and accessories on the two vessels. OMI used its sister corporation, Tram Shipyards, Inc. to purchase the materials and complete the additional work.
In the course of installing the additional living quarters on the Nicole, Tram cut, extended, and re-welded the crane boom cradle stanchion of the hydraulic pedestal crane. Transporting the liftboats from Louisiana to Nigeria for an Associated contract proved problematic. The flotilla encountered rough seas, and the stanchion snapped at the site of the weld, causing the crane boom on the Nicole to swing wildly and crash into the additional living quarters.
There was damage. The boats had to divert from their course before ultimately returning to Louisiana for repairs, and they didn't make it to Nigeria for the contract. Associated suffered "a crippling loss of profits." So what's the proper path to remedy? Contract or tort?