Newspaper Bergens Tidende reported on Monday that the Stavanger District Court in western Norway has ruled that the waste managers were guilty of negligence when not informing the crew properly about the goods transported by the Alrita. The ship sank off of Hustadvika in March 2009.
The 770 tonnes of sludge being transported was deemed too unstable to transport by a sea captain who warned the company when it made attempts to find an appropriate vessel. The company withheld that information when it signed the assignment over to another crew.
The Alrita captain was criticized in the verdict for not adequately checking the cargo before setting sail.
SAR must now pay the fine to the Tysnes Sparebank bank, which had demanded compensation for its investment in the ship.
Tysnes Sparebank welcomed the verdict, which it said set an "important precedent."
"Those who transport goods with special properties must know how that content behaves when it is transported," spokesman Christian Kjellby Nesset told Bergens Tidende.