DALI Ship Owners Deny Responsibility For Key Bridge Collapse, Seek Limited Liability

Posted on 04/02/24 | News Source: WMAR2NEWS

BALTIMORE — Attorneys for the DALI container ship that caused the Key Bridge's collapse last week, are looking to get ahead of future lawsuits.

The catastrophic incident left six construction workers dead and two others injured.

It also severely impacted local workers and the economy, as operations at the Port of Baltimore remain indefinitely suspended.

In a federal court filing Monday, the ship's owners and operators, Grace Ocean Private Limited and Synergy Marine PTE, denied any fault or neglect.

"The [bridge collapse] was not due to any fault, neglect, or want of care on the part of [Grace Ocean & Synergy], the Vessel, or any persons or entities for whose acts [Grace Ocean & Synergy] may be responsible," the filing reads. "Alternatively, if any such faults caused or contributed to the [bridge collapse], or to any loss or damage arising out of the [bridge collapse], which is denied, such faults were occasioned and occurred without [Grace Ocean & Synergy] privity or knowledge."

The companies concede they could be sued but are asking to either be fully exonerated from liability or that it be capped at $43,670,000, which they claim is the total value of the ship after losses and damages.

"[Grace Ocean & Synergy] claim exoneration from liability for any and all losses or damage arising out of the [collapse] and from any and all claims for damages that have been or may be filed."

In their defense, the ship's owners and operators cite a federal maritime law they believe grants them limitation of liability. Despite that, lawyers for the ship said they "are ready and willing to give a stipulation with sufficient surety for the payment into the Court of the value of the Vessel and its pending freight, and for costs, as provided for by the Limitation Act."

The ship's attorneys want any and all future lawsuits stemming from the collapse to be filed in the District Court of Maryland within a certain time frame.

It should be noted the Federal Government already fronted $60 million in funding towards recovery efforts, which is expected to reach the multi-billion dollar range.