Dredging company sues tug boat operators for allegedly running their vessel aground

By Kyle Barnett | Mar 13, 2013

L. Etienne Balart

GRETNA – An Illinois dredging company is suing a Delaware-based towing company for damages for running aground a vessel while towing it.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company LLC filed suit against Marquette Transportation Co. LLC, Marquette Transportation Co. Offshore LLC, Brian P. Bouvier and John Gros Sr. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Jan. 18.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC claims they contracted Marquette Transportation Co. to tow one of their dredging vessels from Amelia, La., to Brownsville, Texas. The plaintiffs allege that during the towing the tug boats operated by the defendants ran their vessel aground in an outcropping of rocks resulting in damages to the vessel. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. asserts Marquette Towing’s tug boats were not properly placed to keep the vessel from striking the ground.

The defendant is accused of allowing incompetent people to tow the vessel, the tug boats were not of sufficient power for the operation in question, the tug boats failed to maneuver at safe speeds, failing to reduce the speed or reverse the circumstances, failing to take any action to avoid the grounding, failing to properly train the captain and the crew of the tug boat, monitor the captain and crew, failing to properly man and equip their tug boats and failing to take into account prevailing weather conditions and causing the vessel to run aground.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for damage to the plaintiff’s vessel, loss of use and profit from the damaged vessel, increased costs caused by the business disruption including costs, increased costs related to the substitution of equipment in order to honor contractual obligations and attorney’s fees and costs.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company LLC is represented by L. Etienne Balart of New Orleans-based Jones, Walker, Waecheter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre LLP.

The case has been assigned to Division P Judge Lee V. Faulkner Jr.

Case no. 723-038

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