Readers' Choice 2017

Online balloting for The Paducah Sun's 2017 Readers' Choice selections begins Jan. 26 and will run through Feb. 7. Watch our site for updates.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Federal judge sides with KYTC concerning jurisdiction for lawsuit

Staff report

A federal judge has agreed with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that a lawsuit against employees of Foss Maritime Co. should be heard in a state circuit court.

"State courts â ¦ remain competent to hear maritime causes of action so long as the defendant is a person, rather than a vessel," the ruling said.

KYTC has sued seven current or former employees for their part in the crash of the Delta Mariner, a cargo vessel owned by Foss Maritime, into the Eggner's Ferry Bridge on Kentucky Lake on Jan. 26, 2012.

A 322-foot span of the bridge was demolished and had to be replaced. The bridge was out for four months.

The transportation cabinet seeks to recover more than $7 million in damages on behalf of Kentucky taxpayers.

The cabinet filed the lawsuit in Marshall Circuit Court and requested a jury trial. Foss Maritime got the case removed to U.S. District Court.

In the ruling Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas B. Russell noted the cabinet's desire for a jury trial.

"Were this case to be removed pursuant to the court's original admiralty jurisdiction, however, no such trial would be available: admiralty cases do not carry with them the right to a jury trial," the ruling said.

The cabinet also argued that removal of the case to federal court violated the 11th Amendment to both the U.S. and Kentucky constitutions, precluding states from being brought into federal court without a waiver of immunity.

Russell agreed that the "general maritime nature" of a case does not, by itself, justify its removal to federal court.

The cabinet's lawsuit said the crew of the ship ignored repeated warnings from the U.S. Coast Guard and another vessel on the river that day about the navigation lights being out on the bridge. Foss Maritime is based in Seattle, Wash.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the missed and ignored warnings were part of a series of errors that led to the cargo ship striking the bridge that carries traffic from near Aurora to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area in western Kentucky.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha ce08f7d4e787435182120f23e52e6284
Top Classifieds

Most Popular
  1. Trump, after rough start, delivers unifying message
  2. Southeast storms take at least 18 lives
  3. Local sports
  1. Restaurant moves from Illinois to Paducah area
  2. Public paying attention to restaurant health scores
  3. Beaver Dam vendor search begins
  1. Trump, after rough start, delivers unifying message
  2. Southeast storms take at least 18 lives
  3. Local sports
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...