Baltimore sues owner and manager of 'unseaworthy' Dali over bridge collapse

Baltimore sues owner and manager of 'unseaworthy' Dali over bridge collapse
Baltimore sues owner and manager of 'unseaworthy' Dali over bridge collapse

We show you our most important and recent visitors news details Baltimore sues owner and manager of 'unseaworthy' Dali over bridge collapse in the following article

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — The Dali was a 'clearly unseaworthy' ship with 'an incompetent crew', the city of Baltimore argued in a lawsuit filed Monday

Baltimore has sued the operators of the container ship that hit and destroyed one of the US city's main bridges last month, killing six people.

The city said the Dali was "clearly unseaworthy" and accused its owners and manager of negligence.

The ship's Singapore-based owner and manager have already asked a court to limit their liability.

The region is reeling from the closure of its busiest maritime transit port after the span collapsed on March 26.

"None of this should have happened," attorneys representing the Baltimore mayor and city council argued in a federal lawsuit.

The city is asking the US District Court of Maryland for a jury trial to hold the defendants fully liable.

Naming the Dali's owner, Grace Ocean Private Limited, and its manager, Synergy Marine Private Limited, the suit alleges the Francis Scott Key Bridge's collapse was a direct result of their "gross negligence, and recklessness, and as a result of the unseaworthiness of the vessel".

On April 1, Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine petitioned the same federal court in Maryland to cap its responsibility for the incident.

Citing a pre-Civil War maritime law, the pair of companies estimated their liability for the vessel and the cargo's value at $43.6m (£35m).

Monday's court filing from the city of Baltimore rebuts that number as "substantially less than the amount that will be claimed for losses and damages arising out of the Dali's allision with the Key Bridge".

The path taken by the cargo ship — which was exiting the Port of Baltimore under the Key Bridge — is "no stranger to large freighters", the city's representatives wrote.

They said the vessel "had been experiencing an inconsistent power supply" that was either not investigated or not fixed.

"The Dali left port anyway, despite its clearly unseaworthy condition," said the lawsuit.

The filing also says the Dali was manned by "an incompetent crew that was inattentive to its duties" and "lacked proper training".

On Friday, port officials opened a third temporary channel for boats to enter and exit the corridor, but these channels can only sustain about 15% of pre-collapse commercial activity.

A fourth channel, that will allow most traffic back into the port, is expected to open by the end of the month.

Darrell Wilson, an attorney who represents Synergy Marine and is also handling media inquiries on behalf of Grace Ocean, told the BBC it would be inappropriate to comment on the litigation while federal investigations into the collapse were ongoing.

Six construction workers who were fixing potholes died when the bridge collapsed. Two of the bodies have yet to be recovered.

Workers are still extracting thousands of tons of debris from the water and from atop the stationary Dali, whose original schedule would have seen it arrive at a Sri Lankan port on Monday.

Apart from two of the ship's pilots, 21 crew members — almost all of whom are of Indian origin — remain on the ship. There is no timeline yet for when the crew will disembark or head back to sea. — BBC


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