Last week, we reported that one person was dead and two more were missing after a 600-foot chemical tanker collided with a fishing boat off the shore of Galveston, Texas. Three days after the incident, responders suspended their search for the two missing men after covering more than 49 square miles of water.
All of the injured, deceased, and missing individuals were on board the fishing boat named Pappy’s Pride. Only one person from the small vessel is confirmed to have survived the accident. The chemical tanker, called the Bow Fortune, is owned and operated by Norwegian seaborne transportation Odjfell. The tanker is currently moored in Galveston, and all crew members are safe and accounted for. An investigation has begun to determine the cause of the accident.
Arnold & Itkin Is Representing the Family of a Deceased Person aboard Pappy’s Pride
Last Friday, Arnold & Itkin’s offshore accident lawyers filed a petition on behalf of the deceased individual who was aboard Pappy’s Pride. On the same day, the defendants filed a limitation of liability complaint. This means that Odjfell is now suing the deceased and injured, forcing their families to file a case by April 2020 or lose their ability to do so permanently.
By filing this complaint, Odjfell is attempting to limit its liability—while the investigation remains ongoing. To learn more, click here to read through the defendant’s limitation of liability complaint.
How Is Odjfell Attempting to Escape Liability?
Odjfell’s tactics are tragically common after serious maritime industry accidents. The company is using a 150-year-old law known as the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851. At the time of its creation, the law made sense. America’s fragile maritime industry forced vessel owners to take significant risks with each voyage. Ships needed to travel for weeks and crews had to endure dangerous weather while facing the constant threat of disease, pirates, and war. When one of these things caused the loss of a ship’s cargo, the vessel owner was at financial risk.
To protect the American maritime industry, lawmakers passed the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851. The law prevented vessel owners from suffering from financial liability that exceeded the value of a ship. Immediately, the act fostered growth in American trade and protected small businesses. While the law served its purpose in 1851, it’s now used by negligent companies to avoid accountability.
The Use of the Limitation of Liability Act Doesn’t Deter Arnold & Itkin
At Arnold & Itkin, we’re not intimidated by a company’s attempt to escape accountability. When the corporations responsible for the El Faro sinking tried to use the Limitation of Liability Act, we were there to make sure they couldn’t get away with it. Our team represented several families of those lost in the accident, and we’re proud that we helped them begin to rebuild their lives.
Hear stories from clients who’ve turned to Arnold & Itkin for help.
We understand the maritime industry, we know the tactics companies use after accidents, and we’ve seen how hard these moments are on the families of victims and survivors. To escape liability, Odjfell is forcing families to take legal action just days after receiving some of the worst news of their lives. Grieving families should be allowed to focus on each other instead of being forced to worry about obtaining the justice that their loved ones deserve. If you need help fighting these cruel tactics, turn to Arnold & Itkin. Call us at (888) 493-1629 to speak with a maritime attorney and find out what steps are next.
Arnold & Itkin has a history of holding companies like Odjfell accountable after serious accidents. To find out more, read this news article online or call us at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation.