On the fateful night of December 20, 1987 at approximately 10:00 p.m., the worst disaster in terms of loss of life in the history of maritime commerce occurred off the coast of Dumali Point, Mindoro, Philippines. The passenger ferry, the "Dona Paz" owned and operated by Sulpicio Lines, had loaded passengers at Tacloban, Leyte and Catbalogan, Samar. She was en route to Manila when she collided with the oil tanker, "Vector", which was owned and operated by Vector Shipping Corporation. At the time of the collision, the "Vector", had been on long term charter (long lease) to Cal-Tex Philippines, Inc., and on that night "Vector" was en route to deliver gasoline and kerosene from the Bataan Refinery to Masbate City. The collision resulted in a fire aboard the "Vector" which spread to the highly combustible cargo of the "Vector" causing an explosion. The Philippine government commission estimated that 4,047 individuals were killed as a result of the tragedy; only 24 persons survived. Only 108 bodies were recovered.
A class action was filed in Texas but Cal-Tex managed to get that case dismissed after several years. Another class action had also been filed in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, U.S.A. on the 15th of December 1988 on behalf of our clients and other victims’ families. The official title of the Louisiana case is:-