With the upcoming national release of the movie Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks, the spotlight has also turned to the lawsuit filed by approximately half the crew of the Maersk Alabama, which claims that the shipping company Maersk and the Captain, Richard Phillips, knowingly put the crew, the ship, and her cargo in danger by ignoring multiple warnings and not providing adequate security for the crew.
Here are 7 questions that, as far as we can tell, neither Maersk nor the Captain have yet to answer:
1. Why was the Maersk Alabama so close to the Somali coast when pirates attacked?
2. Does Maersk or Captain Phillips have a financial interest in the movie?
3. Was Maersk or Captain Phillips warned to stay out of the area before the pirate attacks? If so, why did they ignore those warnings?
4. Did the Captain voluntarily give himself up to the pirates as depicted in the movie?
5. If they were going to sail in pirate-infested waters, why didn't the shipping company arm the crew or provide some form of armed security?
6. Does the movie accurately depict the few anti-piracy measures on the Maersk Alabama, or does the movie exaggerate the anti-piracy measures onboard the ship?
7. Who are the real heroes? The U.S. military personnel who rescued the captain? The crewmembers who fought back against the pirates with makeshift weapons? Or the Captain who sailed them into pirate-infested waters and was then captured by pirates?
As lawyers for the crewmembers who have been engaged in a 2 1/2 year legal battle with Maersk, we predict that neither Maersk nor Captain Phillips will publicly answer any of these questions, for obvious reasons.
However, we do hope people who see the movie ask themselves these questions as they are watching the movie.