Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Business

Odyssey Marine loses appeal to Supreme Court justice

Tampa treasure hunter Odyssey Marine Exploration continues to see the half-billion-dollar treasure it pulled from the Atlantic slip from its hands.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Thursday rejected Odyssey's request to block a lower court order requiring the company to give the trove of gold and silver coins back to Spain.

Odyssey said it is reviewing what options it might have to retain the treasure and refuses to release it until a clear mandate is given from the appropriate authorities.

"While we are disappointed with the Supreme Court's denial of the motion for stay, we do recognize that the court very rarely grants these motions," said Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey's vice president and general counsel. "How we proceed from here will depend on … what a subsequent order might look like, especially given the fact that the courts have determined they do not have jurisdiction in the case."

Odyssey and Spain are battling in U.S. courts over claim to the sunken treasure, dubbed the Black Swan, found in 2007 off the cost of Portugal. Spain claims rights to that treasure because the vessel, Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, belonged to Spain.

"Spain has now been victorious at every level in the United States courts, from Tampa to Atlanta to Washington," said Jim Goold, whose firm Covington & Burling provided legal defense for Spain. Goold is prepared for Odyssey's next move.

"Odyssey has said that they will nevertheless ask the Supreme Court later this month to accept the case for review," Goold said. "The Supreme Court accepts 1 percent or less of such requests and today's decision makes a strong statement about their chances."

Hoping to avoid the type of dispute it has with Spain, Odyssey has contracts with the British government to retrieve three other finds this year. The company said any decision regarding the Black Swan will not affect the other sunken treasures.

"We are currently preparing for three shipwreck recoveries in 2012 and have already executed an agreement for Odyssey's compensation on all three projects," said Mark Gordon, Odyssey's president and COO. "Work is scheduled to begin in the second quarter and the future of Odyssey Marine Exploration has never looked brighter, despite any outcome in the Black Swan case."

Ivan Penn can be reached [email protected] or (727) 892-2332.

Comments
St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

St. Petersburg set to rename main library after President Obama

ST. PETERSBURG — Speaking in front of a small crowd gathered on the front lawn of the city’s main library, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced Monday that the facility will get a $6 million renovation and be renamed in honor of President Barack Obama.The a...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

Sheriff’s undercover sting nabs 26 ‘brazen’ unlicensed contractors

DUNEDIN –– Pinellas sheriff’s detectives spent their weekend luring in unlicensed electrical, plumbing and other home improvement contractors to a vacant home wired with cameras.It took only hours before a stream of people arrived to work on the outd...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

Tampa Electric appeals OSHA citation for fatal Big Bend accident

TAMPA — Tampa Electric Co. is formally contesting the biting citation the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed down in December for a maintenance incident in June that left five workers dead.At a meeting with the Tampa Bay Tim...
Updated: 9 hours ago
On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

On deck in Rays ballpark quest: Tampa Bay’s business community

TAMPA — Columbia Restaurant owner Richard Gonzmart says he’s ready to put his checkbook where his heart is when it comes to supporting a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City.So is the investment fund for the founding family of Ashley Furniture. So, it ap...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

Epilogue: Tourism community remembers Paradise founder Cedar Hames

When Cedar Hames spoke, you listened.He was a natural storyteller, always dressed sharp to match his wit and natural elegance. He grew a two-person business in St. Petersburg into a leading tourism, advertising and marketing agency over an esteemed 3...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Report: Winn-Dixie parent company could close 200 stores

Bi-Lo LLC, a subsidiary of the same Jacksonville company that owns Winn-Dixie, could file for bankruptcy as soon as next month, according to a Bloomberg report.Parent company Southeastern Grocer is planning to shut down nearly 200 stores either befor...
Updated: 11 hours ago
New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

New bus routes, times to start on Sunday in Hillsborough

TAMPA — More than a dozen bus routes in Hillsborough County will have new times, paths and stops starting Sunday.The changes come almost four months after the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority rolled out an entirely new bus network, scrapp...
Updated: 11 hours ago
The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The small gun shop that sold the weapon to the alleged high school shooter ‘closes indefinitely.’

The aftermath of the horrific mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has led to the closure of one small business.According to the Miami Herald, the owners of Sunrise Tactical Supply, the Coral Springs, Florida shop that auth...
Published: 02/19/18
Next phase for the Tampa Armature Works: co-working office space

Next phase for the Tampa Armature Works: co-working office space

TAMPA — The mixed-use rebirth of the old Tampa Armature Works warehouse is proceeding in stages. First up: last month’s debut of the new ballroom, followed closely by the opening of more than a dozen vendors in the Heights Public Market food hall.YEA...
Published: 02/19/18

Open-mic night at Pilars is a hot spot for Disney talent

WINTER GARDEN — At the end of the day, when the tourists are gone, Disney performers head out to their favorite spot to keep on singing after their shifts are over. Every Thursday, they perform at open-mic night at Pilars, a Winter Garden martini bar...
Published: 02/18/18