El Faro owners hit with $100m lawsuit


The first of what could be a series of crippling lawsuits against the owners of the missingEl Faro boxship is set to be filed today.

Attorney Willie Gary will announce the filing of a $100m lawsuit against TOTE Services and TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico, the owners of the 40-year-old ship that is presumed sunk in the midst of the fierce Hurricane Joaquin.

The suit is on behalf of the estate of Lonnie Jordan, one of the 33 El Faro crewmembers.

A news briefing is set for 1100hrs at Duval County Courthouse in Florida. Family members of the El Faro crew will also be in attendance.

The National Transportation Safety Board has said it will give a media update on Friday.

Seafarers who worked on the US-flagged ship earlier this year have questioned its seaworthiness. The owners admit engines failed just as the hurricane bore down off the Bahamas with winds in excess of 200 kmh.

The sinking has once again brought debate about the validity of the Jones Act, the US cabotage laws that allow such ancient vessels to trade. Whether the Jones Act is fit for purpose is one of eight questions posed in our latest topical survey, results of which will be released in the next issue of Maritime CEO magazine.

Source: Splash247

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