The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Navy continued its search last week for pieces of the El Faro cargo ship that went missing during Hurricane Joaquin.
Investigators were able to find wreckage of the ship, as a salvage team managed to spot parts of the vessel on the ocean floor at a depth of nearly three miles near the Bahamas. However, officials were still trying to locate key pieces of the vessel including its bridge and voyage data recorder.
The data recorder could provide investigators with more information about what occurred, as it is similar to a plane “black box” and could provide recorded communications that took place on the ship over the last 12 hours of its voyage.
The El Faro was on its way from Florida to Puerto Rico when it disappeared. It remains unclear as to why it was being operated in poor weather conditions. The vessel is owned by Sea Star Lines, d/b/a, TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico and Tote Services, Inc.
Earlier this month, the owners of the vessels filed a lawsuit seeking a Petition for Limitation of Liability in federal court to attempt to limit their legal role in the disaster. All 33 crewmembers that were aboard the vessel are believed to be dead.
Continue to follow our blog for more information about the El Faro disaster. On Wednesday, we will be discussing what is being done to aid recovery efforts.
Fighting a Petition for Limitation of Liability Following a Maritime Disaster
In the video above, attorney Dave Anderson talks about the Limitation of Liability Act when it comes to maritime accidents. In the case of El Faro, many experts see the filing as insensitive. Essentially, even though the owners of the vessel have insurance, they are trying to limit how much the families of the deceased crewmembers can collect in litigation.
This is why it is important for family members affected by offshore accidents to seek out experienced maritime attorneys when pursuing a claim. In this case, the families are going to have to prove that El Faro’s owners had knowledge of the unseaworthy conditions of the vessel at the time it left is port or were negligent in operating it during the harsh conditions.
Our maritime trial lawyers have obtained many verdicts and settlements for family members, fighting Petitions for Limitation of Liability directly. You can also visit our Facebook or Twitter pages for further maritime injury news.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys