In an update to a series of blog posts, it was reported last week that lawsuits were beginning to be filed against the operators of the El Faro vessel that is believed to have sank off the coast of the Bahamas on October 1.
According to the Florida Times-Union, a lawsuit has been filed on the behalf of Lonnie Jordan, 33, who worked on the vessel as a cook, among other jobs. The lawsuit is the first in a number of claims that are expected to be filed against TOTE Maritime, the owner of the El Faro.
The lawsuit claims that TOTE Maritime should have sailed a different route, knowing about the weather hazards caused by Hurricane Joaquin, or delayed its voyage entirely. Thirty-three crewmembers on board the vessel are believed to have lost their lives. The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the ship’s disappearance.
The Times-Union reported that TOTE has a policy in place of not responding to lawsuits through the media. The lawsuit seeks $100 million in damages for Jordan’s family.
Prior to its disappearance, the vessel’s captain radioed officials saying the cargo boat had begun to take on water. Communication was lost after the message was received. The ship had left from Jacksonville and was traveling to Puerto Rico before it went missing.
The Importance of Contacting Our Nationwide Maritime Attorneys
It is unfortunate that so little is known about the sinking of this ship, as an investigation could take several months or years.
If your family member goes missing or is killed in a maritime accident, make sure you contact our nationwide maritime attorneys immediately—you will want to make sure that you have expert guidance if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
It large cases like this, it is not unusual for vessel owners to seek a Petition for Limitation of Liability in an attempt to limit the amount of damages they will have to pay to family members. Our maritime trial lawyers have fought Petitions for Limitation of Liability and have successfully obtained damages on the behalf of family members who have lost loved ones. Visit our verdicts and settlement page for more information.
In the video above, maritime attorney Dave Anderson details the Limitation of Liability Act and how this 150-year old law impacts modern seamen.
You can also visit our Facebook or Twitter pages for further maritime injury news. Additionally, you should continue to follow our blog for more information about the El Faro. On Wednesday, we will discuss theories about how fuel sediment may have clogged the vessel’s engine.
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