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Baltimore says who should be held responsible for Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in new filing

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The city of Baltimore said the owners of the Dali cargo ship should be held accountable in last month’s crash and subsequent collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, according to a new court filing. The crash left six people who were working on the bridge at the time of the collapse dead.

In court papers filed on Monday, Baltimore is accusing parent company, Grace Ocean Private Ltd., of gross and potentially criminal negligence when it put an “unseaworthy vessel” into the water on March 26, just moments before it crashed into a structure supporting the bridge and causing it to topple, ABC News reported.

The city said the water transportation services company should be held fully liable for the collapse.

“For all intents and purposes, Petitioner’s negligence caused them to destroy the Key Bridge, and single-handedly destroy the Port of Baltimore, a source of jobs, municipal revenue and no small amount of pride for the city of Baltimore and its residents,” the city’s filing reads.


The court filing comes as the Dali owners are seeking to limit their own liability.

Earlier this month, Grace Ocean Private Ltd. filed its own federal lawsuit seeking to limit the financial payout that they could be held liable for. The company is seeking to limit that liability cost to just $43.7 million, a figure far smaller than the billions of dollars expected in costs to clear the Baltimore Port and construct a new bridge.

In the city’s new filing, they allege the Dali continued its departure despite multiple warning signs. The ship ultimately lost power just moments before crashing into the bridge.


Monday’s filing is the latest action in what is expected to be a lengthy legal fight over who should be held responsible for the crash.

Fox News Digital reached out to the city of Baltimore and Grace Ocean Private Ltd., but a response was not immediately received.

In an aerial view, the cargo ship Dali sits in the water after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge

On April 15, Mayor Brandon Scott announced that the City of Baltimore would be taking legal steps to “proactively and aggressively” address the Key Bridge collapse and the impact the collapse has had on the City of Baltimore and its residents.

“The tragedy has resulted not only in a devastating loss of life, but significant economic hardship to businesses and employees who rely upon the Port of Baltimore for revenue and wages, and to the City itself,” the mayor’s office said.

“This unthinkable tragedy has taken Marylanders from their loved ones, and risked the livelihoods of thousands of Baltimoreans who rely on the Port of Baltimore,” said Scott added. “We are continuing to do everything in our power to support everyone impacted here and will continue to recognize the human impact this event has had.  Part of that work needs to be seeking recourse from those who may potentially be responsible, and with the ship’s owner filing a petition to limit its liability mere days after the incident, we need to act equally as quickly to protect the City’s interests.”

City Solicitor Ebony M. Thompson echoed these sentiments, saying the city intends to hold the Dali owners accountable for the collapse.

“It is time to hold the M/V Dali’s owner, charterer, manager/operator, manufacturer, and others accountable for the City’s substantial and ongoing economic losses arising from this tragedy, as well as for the unimaginable distress they have caused to the City’s residents, businesses, workers, and their families,” Thompson said.


In the announcement, the mayor’s office said the city would be partnering with trial firm DiCello Levitt and Philadelphia law firm Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky Trial Lawyers to pursue legal action. The Law Department’s Chief of Affirmative Litigation Sara Gross will also represent the city.

“We need to hold these entities accountable for the emotional toll and the substantial financial losses that the City of Baltimore and its residents are facing,” said DiCello Levitt co-founder Adam Levitt in the April 15 statement.

The FBI continues to investigate the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, specifically focusing on whether ship personnel were aware of any on board technical or operational issues before the ship left the Port of Baltimore.

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