Maersk settles sexual assault case with former midshipman


(Reuters) — Shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk said Friday a lawsuit against a U.S. subsidiary for sexual assault and harassment filed by a former midshipman on one of its vessels had been resolved.

Attorneys for the two parties had mutually agreed that neither side would disclose details of the agreement, they said in a joint statement.

“The leadership of MLL (Maersk Line, Limited) has expressed the need for change. The changes that MLL has proposed are an important first step, but there is still a lot of work to be done in the maritime industry,” former midshipman Hope Hicks said in the statement.

A spokesperson representing Ms. Hicks declined to comment further.

“We want to be absolutely clear that the events Ms. Hicks describes are unacceptable. No matter who and where you are, those who work with us must feel safe and protected in our work environment,” MLL CEO William Woodhour said.

In October 2021, Maersk said it had suspended five employees as part of an investigation into the alleged sexual assault on one of its ships run by Maersk Line, Limited, a U.S.-based subsidiary of the A.P. Moller-Maersk group.

The five employees have since been fired, a Maersk spokesperson told Reuters on Friday.

Maersk Line, Limited, owns 20 container vessels operating under the U.S. flag, which support military, government and humanitarian missions by the U.S. government, it said on its webpage.

The company said it had started several internal initiatives and was also working with external partners including labor unions, the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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