San Fran – “Over 100 liable for COSCO BUSAN Oil Spill”

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February 29, 2008

The following post is written by Fred Fry:

This is from the 13 December 07 Haight’s Maritime Items email newsletter:

San Francisco sues everyone re oil spill – The Office of the City Attorney issued a press release stating that it filed suit under state law against parties allegedly responsible for the November 7 oil spill in San Francisco Bay. In addition to financial compensation, the suit seeks an injunction requiring defendants to implement a plan to assess, monitor, and remediate all damages caused by the spill. Defendants include the owner, operator, manager, pilot, and John Does 1-100. (12/10/07). – Dennis Bryant

You can find a copy of the lawsuit here. (Direct Pdf link here)

He’s not kidding when he says that they are suing everyone. Of note is this comment about 100 John Does who the City of San Francisco also named as defendants:

14. The true names or capacities, whether individual, corporate, associate, or otherwise, of DOE I through DOE 100 are unknown to plaintiffs, who therefore sue such defendants by such fictitious names, and who will amend this complaint to show their true names and capacities when ascertained. Plaintiffs are is informed and believe and thereon allege that each of the defendants designated as a DOE is responsible in some manner for the wrongs herein referred to and thereby proximately caused injuries and damages as alleged herein.Link (page 7)

Do they really think there are over 100 people responsible for this spill? Who knows, at least the lawyers think that it is possible. You can bet that they will target specific shoreside support staff in addition to members of the crew with that many empty spots to fill. It will be interesting to see who they name, considering the international call not to criminalize seafarers. The pilot so far is the only person named in the suit.

NOTE: As of the time of posting, the City has yet to name any of the 100 John Does. So there are a good number of people out there who are being sued, they just don’t know it yet, for sure.

This was originally posted on my Blog Fred Fry International on 13 December 2007.

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