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Responders with the Unified Command conduct an overflight assessment of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, March 29, 2024. The Key Bridge was struck by the Singapore-flagged cargo ship Dali early morning on March 26, 2024. (Unified Command courtesy photo)

Responders with the Unified Command conduct an overflight assessment of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore, Maryland, March 29, 2024. Unified Command Photo

Baltimore Sues Dali Ship Owner and Manager Over Key Bridge Collapse

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 0
April 23, 2024

The City of Baltimore has taken legal action against the owners and managers of the cargo ship Dali, which crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, leading to its collapse and the death of six construction workers.

The lawsuit alleges that the Dali’s owners were negligent in allowing the ship to depart from the Port of Baltimore despite being aware of existing power issues. The Dali left the port around 12:45 a.m. and was under pilotage when it crashed into the Key Bridge less than an hour later.

The City of Baltimore is seeking a jury trial, requesting that the U.S. District Court of Maryland hold the ship’s owners fully responsible for the bridge’s collapse.

In a statement, the Baltimore City Law Office confirmed that the city had filed a claim against the Dali’s owners and managers under admiralty and maritime law.

However, the defendants have already started legal moves to limit their liability.

The city’s lawsuit claims that there were no adverse conditions like high winds or visual obstructions that could have led to the disaster. It further alleges that the Dali, registered in Singapore and owned by Grace Ocean Private Limited, ignored alarms about an inconsistent power supply before leaving the port. Despite the unseaworthy conditions, the ship continued its journey.

The lawsuit further accuses the crew of incompetence and neglect, alleging that they failed to maintain or use several pieces of equipment, including the ship’s engine and propulsion system.

Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen said, “This is about Baltimore uniting together, standing strong against this tragedy, and making sure people are held accountable that played a role in it.”

The lawsuit comes after the city announced earlier this month it had retained top trial firms DiCello Levitt and Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky Trial Lawyers to lead the legal pursuit and “hold the wrongdoers responsible.”

An investigation into the cause of the accident by the NTSB and Coast Guard is ongoing. A preliminary report from the NTSB is expected in early May.

Dali is owned by Grace Ocean Private and managed by Synergy Marine Group, both based in Singapore.

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