Apr 22, 2024 - Business

Baltimore accuses Dali cargo ship owner, operator of negligence

The wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge is seen beyond the stern of the container ship Dali three weeks after the catastrophic collapse. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge is seen beyond the stern of the container ship Dali three weeks after the catastrophic collapse. Photo: Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The city of Baltimore said the cargo ship that struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge was "clearly unseaworthy" when it left the Baltimore port last month, per court documents filed Monday.

The big picture: Baltimore's mayor and city council accused both the owner of the container ship Dali, Grace Ocean Private, and its operator, Synergy Marine Group, of being "grossly and potentially criminally negligent."

  • The catastrophic bridge collapse killed six construction workers and snarled shipping and traffic at the Port of Baltimore.

State of play: In the days following the collapse, the companies petitioned the U.S. District Court in Maryland to cap their potential liabilities costs to about $43.6 million.

  • Monday's claim filed by the Mayor Brandon Scott and the Baltimore City Council with the same court argues, "In no way should their liability be limited."
  • The city is seeking a jury trial, arguing that the cap the companies are seeking is "substantially less than the amount that will be claimed for losses and damages arising out of the Dali's allision with the Key Bridge."
  • Representatives for Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine declined to comment to media due to legal cases and federal investigations into the matter.

Zoom out: President Biden has called for the federal government to pay for the full cost of reconstructing the bridge and approved Maryland's request of $60 million to assist in initial recovery efforts.

Go deeper: FBI conducts "law enforcement activity" aboard cargo ship that struck Baltimore bridge

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