Baltimore Holds Ship Owner and Manager Responsible for Bridge Collapse


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The City of Baltimore has officially stated that the owner and manager of the cargo ship involved in the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse last month are directly accountable for the incident. The city emphasized that they should not be allowed to evade legal responsibility, as per court documents filed on Monday.

Legal Battle Ensues Over Liability

The 985-foot-long ship struck the bridge in the early hours of March 26 after departing from the Port of Baltimore and experiencing engine and navigation equipment failure. The subsequent collapse of the bridge resulted in the tragic deaths of six construction workers, as well as the disruption of operations at the port and along the East Coast shipping industry.

A federal investigation into the accident is underway, potentially lasting for several years. Meanwhile, the ship’s Singapore-based owner and operator, Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine, have sought exoneration from liability for any associated losses or damages.

In a court filing in early April, the companies denied any fault or neglect on their part, attributing the accident to reasons beyond their control. They argued that if found liable, the maximum amount should be capped at around $43.7 million, reflecting the vessel’s value at the time of the incident minus salvage and repair estimates.

Mayor Brandon M. Scott and the Baltimore City Council contested these assertions in a filing on Monday, insisting that the companies should be held responsible for the full extent of damages determined in a jury trial. They argued that the accident was a direct consequence of the Singaporean firms’ negligence, recklessness, and the unseaworthiness of the vessel.

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