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  April 24th, 2024 | Written by

Baltimore Takes Legal Action Against Ship Owner and Operator Following Bridge Collision

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Baltimore has initiated legal proceedings against the owner and operator of the cargo ship responsible for colliding with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, leading to its collapse last month.

The legal claim, filed on Monday, targets Grace Ocean Private Limited, the owner, and Synergy Marine PTE LTD, the manager of the vessel named Dali. Attorneys representing Baltimore’s mayor and City Council allege that both companies failed to provide competent crew members with adequate skill and training, as stated in the claim obtained by CNN. The city is seeking unspecified damages from both entities.

The incident occurred in the early hours of March 26 when the Dali, weighing 213 million pounds and carrying cargo containers, struck the bridge, resulting in its immediate collapse. The collision claimed the lives of at least six individuals and caused extensive property damage, severely disrupting the region’s economic activities.

According to the claim, the Dali departed from port despite signs indicating an inconsistent power supply, raising questions about the vessel’s readiness for navigation.

Baltimore’s legal action aims to ensure appropriate compensation for the losses incurred by the city, its residents, and businesses due to the Key Bridge catastrophe. The City Law Office emphasized the pursuit of justice through active litigation, refraining from further comment outside the judicial forum.

Earlier this month, Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine sought a $43.6 million limit on potential liability payouts through a petition in federal court. However, Baltimore has urged the court to reject this request, underscoring the severity of the damages caused by the collision.

Responding to the legal action, a representative for Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine stated that further comments would be inappropriate at this time, respecting ongoing investigations and potential legal proceedings.

Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Coast Guard are conducting a criminal investigation into the ship crash. Federal authorities are also examining whether the crew failed to report an earlier issue with the vessel that delayed its departure, further complicating the legal and investigative landscape surrounding the incident.