(Reuters) — Shipping company AP Möller-Maersk said on Friday that a lawsuit against a U.S. subsidiary alleging sexual abuse and harassment filed by a former midshipman on one of its ships had been settled.
Lawyers 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 proposed by MLL are an important first step, but there is still much work to be done in the shipping industry,” former midshipman Hope Hicks said in the statement.
A spokesman representing Ms Hicks declined to comment further.
“We want to be absolutely clear that the events described by Ms. Hicks are unacceptable. Regardless of who and where you are, those who work with us need to feel safe and protected in our work environment,”; said MLL CEO William Woodhour.
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 operated by Maersk Line, Limited, a US-based subsidiary of the AP Moller-Maersk group.
The five employees have since been fired, a Maersk spokesperson told Reuters on Friday.
Maersk Line, Limited, owns 20 container ships operating under the US flag, which support military, governmental and humanitarian missions of the US government, it writes on its website.
The company said it had launched several internal initiatives and was also working with external partners, including unions, the Maritime Administration and the US Coast Guard.