Tanker Firm Posts $13 Million for Lawsuits

By Jules Crittenden
Boston Herald

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Suspected killer tanker Virgo will be free to leave Canada Monday after posting a $13 million bond to cover potential jury awards in civil lawsuits brought by the families of the Starbound’s drowned crew and the surviving captain.

Maritime attorney Carolyn Latti of Boston, who is handling a lawsuit for the estate of fisherman James Sanfilippo, said lawyers for the shipping company and the various plaintiffs negotiated and agreement late Thursday that was approved by the judge yesterday.

The Primorsk Shipping Co., which owns the Virgo, has agreed to post cash bonds amounting to $3 million in U.S. dollars for each of the dead fishermen – Sanfilippo, Mark Doughty and Thomas Frontiero – and $4 million for Capt. Joseph Marcantonio.

The Virgo had been held in Newfoundland since Aug. 7 under police warrants and a civil arrest order after it came under suspicion in the Aug. 5 sinking of the Starbound 130 miles off Cape Ann.

Navigation recorders placed Virgo in the area and paint samples from the ship’s side appear to match the Starbound’s teal-colored paint. The Virgo’s captain has denied striking the Starbound, but he, an officer and a deckhand have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal negligence. They are free on bail pending a hearing next month.