June 15th 2017
A Louisiana fuel distributor has lodged a lawsuit against Kirby Corp and Bisso Towboat over a casualty on the Mississippi River.
John W Stone Oil Distributor alleges that it suffered $1.2m in damages when an articulated tug barge (ATB) owned by the Houston tank barge giant’s Penn Maritime subsidiary slammed into its facility in Gretna.
The incident damaged a dock and five barges at the John W Stone facility. It also set several barges free of their moorings to drift down river, where they caused other damage including to a passenger ferry that was hit, according to legal records and investigation reports.
John W Stone’s lawyers also say that the incident also resulted in some pollution. The company is alleging claims of negligence and unseaworthiness. A Kirby executive declined to comment, and Bisso could not be immediately reached.
At the time of the incident, the US-flag ATB made up of the 656-gt tug Lucia (built 1995) and the 18,700-dwt tank barge Caribbean (built 1995) was travelling upriver with the assistance of Bisso Marine’s tug William S in an effort to bring the ATB to the Buck Kriehs marine repair facility, according to the lawsuit.
The National Transportation Safety Board has said that the incident caused a total of $2.16m in damages, including a hole in the Caribbean above the waterline.
In its investigation, the agency found that the probable cause of the casualty was that the mate on the William S failed to fully execute navigational commands.
John W Stone is seeking to arrest the ATB and the William S, legal records show.
The company is represented by law firms Pugh, Accardo, Haas, Radecker & Carey and Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin.