Boat owner claims repair shop left rag in engine

Michelle Massey Jun. 9, 2010, 11:00am

A yacht owner has is suing a repair shop he says is to blame for damage to his yacht.

Walter Young and Great Lakes Reinsurance filed suit against Schubert's Marine and Scottsdale Insurance Co. May 27 in federal court in New Orleans.

Young claims the starboard side engine on his 54-foot Donzi fishing yacht seized and shut down because metal shavings and debris in the oil reservoir and a shop towel in the lubricating lines to the oil filter. The owner says Schubert's Marine is responsible for the damage and breached its contract by not returning his boat to seaworthy condition.

Young claims the port side engine of the M/Y Virginia Claire failed in February 2009. After the failure, Young says the Virginia Claire proceeded from Venice, La. to New Orleans solely under the propulsion of the starboard side engine.

Young claims he took the yacht to Schubert's Marine in New Orleans and asked technicians there to remove, repair and reinstall the boat's port side engine. He also asked them to repair the to match the port side engine.

The yacht was undergoing sea trials Aug. 7, 2009 when the starboard side engine involuntarily seized and shut down after running for approximately 10 minutes.

According to court records, a subsequent investigation of the starboard engine revealed metal shavings and debris and a wiping rag or shop towel in the lubricating lines.

"The M/Y Virginia Claire could not have made the voyage from Venice to New Orleans (approximately 85 miles) solely on the starboard engine if there had been a rag in the lubricating line of that engine," the lawsuit reads.

Schubert Marine is accused of breach of contract and negligence for failing to conduct its work in a reasonable and workmanlike manner, for allowing a shop towel to become lodged in the starboard engine's lubrication lines, failing to prevent the item from entering the lubrication line that caused damage to the starboard engine, failing to return the yacht to a seaworthy condition and failing to take adequate care under the circumstances.

The total cost of repairs and replacements to the starboard engine were $92,524.44, which Young says he paid in full.

Young is seeking a reimbursement of damages plus out of pocket expenses, loss of charters, loss of profits or businesses losses, interest and court costs.

New Orleans attorneys Matthew C. Guy and Brendhan H. Thompson of LeBlanc Bland are representing the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv01578

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