In January, 2013, a New Jersey commuter ferry carrying five crew members and more than 300 passengers collided with a pier while trying to dock in Lower Manhattan, injuring more than 80 passengers when many of them tumbled down the ferry’s stairs and crashed into walls. More than 36 passengers later sued the boat’s owner in federal court, and more than nine months later, several settlements have finally been reached.
In October, notices of four settlements were filed in U.S. District Court in Newark. They included the following:
- $20,000 for a passenger suffering from bruising and knee trauma
- $42,500 for a passenger suffering from a lacerated scalp and ear and neck injuries
- $80,000 for a passenger whose injuries included torn shoulder cartilage
According to an attorney representing the boat owner, Seastreak LLC, as many as 40 additional personal injury claims were resolved before they even reached litigation. Overall, the company has paid about $1 million to settle its claims and around $500,000 to repair a barge that was also damaged in the accident.
In his statement to federal investigators, the ferry captain claimed that he was not able to control the boat’s engines in the moments leading up to the crash. Although the company has continued to pursue claim resolution proactively, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation of the crash’s cause is ongoing.
Boating accidents such as the recent ferry crash can be incredibly harmful to passengers, who are likely to suffer injuries — many of which are severe or even fatal. When a boat or other public transport accident results from a malfunctioning vessel or vehicle in Bergen County or elsewhere in New Jersey, injured victims have the right to take legal action against the owner, manufacturer, mechanic or operator responsible. Consult an attorney to learn more.