Carol Ostrow Aug. 21, 2015, 12:22pm


A marine business is suing two shipping companies who own and operate a bulk carrier, along with the vessel and its appurtenances, alleging negligence in regard to a Mississippi River maneuver that the plaintiff says resulted in the vessel running aground and partially destroyed its work site.

Impala Terminals Burnside, doing business in Louisiana, filed a lawsuit Aug. 13 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana against Misuga Kaiun Co. of Tokyo as owner of Western Bulk Shipowning IV of Oslo, Norway, and as operator of the M/V Maine Dream, alleging negligence in regard to the August accident.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff owns and operates the Impala Burnside Terminal, a bulk cargo terminal on the Mississippi River in Ascension Parish. The suit states on Aug. 5, the M/V Maine Dream arrived at the terminal, dropped anchor and declared secure mooring. The lawsuit states when the vessel lost navigational control, tugboats assisted until an Impala terminal berth was available.

When the mooring lines were released in an effort to move the carrier, the suit states, the vessel dragged anchor and damaged one of the stern buoys, ripping it off its anchor chain. The boat allegedly ran aground on the river’s east bank, delaying all of the plaintiff’s operations for approximately 31 hours.

Impala Terminals seeks to claim a maritime lien against the vessel for damage to its mooring system, which it alleges was severely compromised, temporarily shutting down company operations. Impala charges the defendants with negligence, unseaworthiness, and failure to train competent crew, provide adequate support vessels, and properly navigate according to river conditions.

The plaintiff seeks a court order and warrant for the arrest and seizure of the vessel along with judgment in its favor. Impala Terminals Burnside seeks damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, expenses and court costs. It is represented by attorneys Marc Hebert, C. Barrett Rice and Matthew LeJeune of Jones Walker in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-03439-MLCF-DEK.

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