Baltimore Files Lawsuit Against Ship Owner, Operator After Bridge Collapse

Baltimore lawsuit bridge collapse

The mayor and city council of Baltimore filed a lawsuit against the owner and operator of the ship that collided with a pylon on the Francis Scott Key Bridge last month, leading to its collapse and the tragic deaths of six workers on it at the time.

The lawsuit, submitted in Maryland federal court on Monday, seeks unspecified damages from Grace Ocean Pte Ltd, the registered owner of the Singapore-flagged ship, and its manager Synergy Marine Group.

They are accused of negligence in the ship’s operation, with the city asserting that the bridge collapse brought the city’s economic activities to a standstill.

The lawsuit alleges that the ship’s operators departed port on March 26 despite encountering an inconsistent power supply on board, a decision the city deems criminally negligent.

It outlines economic damages stemming from the bridge loss, including river cleanup costs and the closure of the port of Baltimore.

Darrell Wilson, a spokesperson for Grace Ocean and Synergy, noted that ongoing investigations by the U.S. Coast Guard and federal regulators into the incident prevent them from commenting on the matter.

In a separate move, Grace Ocean and Synergy filed a petition on April 1 in Maryland federal court to limit their liability from the collision.

If approved, their liability could be restricted to the current value of the ship, estimated at $42.5 million according to the petition. The city’s lawsuit is filed as a claim in the same court.