El Faro's Owners File Suit: Wreck Wasn't Our Fault

TOTE Maritime suggests ship's captain may have changed plan
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2015 7:38 AM CST
This undated photo provided by TOTE Maritime shows the cargo ship El Faro.   (TOTE Maritime via AP)
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(Newser) – Hours before the El Faro was apparently found, the cargo ship's owner asked a Florida court for "exoneration from or limitation of liability … for any and all losses or damages," reports CNN. TOTE Maritime said it "exercised due diligence" in ensuring the vessel was in good working order and a plan was in place to avoid the storm that would become Hurricane Joaquin. In what one lawyer calls a move "highly insensitive to the families" of crew members, TOTE appeared to shift blame to the ship's captain, noting it was unaware of any decisions that may have altered that plan. Which is nonsense, scoffs the lawyer for one crew member: "They are acting like they didn't know what was happening, (but) there isn't a damn thing the crew can do without the owners telling them what to do." Four families have already filed suit against TOTE, alleging the Sept. 29 departure was reckless.

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