NEW ORLEANS – A vessel's owner alleges it was wrongfully accused of causing a barge fleet breakaway.
M/V Admiral Bulker filed a complaint on Nov. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against United Bulk Terminals Davant LLC, Kokuka Glorious, Camellia Maritime Bernhard Schulte Singapore and Kokuka Sangyo Co. LTD alleging wrongful accusation.
According to the complaint, on Jan. 20, a barge fleet breakaway occurred on the Mississippi River near Davant and that United Bulk Terminals Davant incorrectly blamed the plaintiff as the cause. The plaintiff alleges that it was forced to post five separate letters of undertaking to those that sustained damages from the barge fleet's breakaway and subsequent collisions and provided a total security sum of $3,918,375 to avoid its threatened arrest.
The plaintiff holds United Bulk Terminals Davant LLC, Kokuka Glorious, Camellia Maritime Bernhard Schulte Singapore and Kokuka Sangyo Co. LTD responsible because defendant UBT failed to provide adequate moorings to ensure security and failed to take adequate measures to prevent the breakaway.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendants return of the initial letters of undertaking to plaintiff, and if not, that Kokuka Glorious interests be required to post letters of undertaking to plaintiff and/or to the innocent vessels interests, and/or to UBT barge fleet; plus award for plaintiffs' damages, attorneys' fees, and costs, and any other relief as may be equitable. It is represented by Michael M. Butterworth and Adam N. Davis of Phelps & Dunbar LLP in New Orleans.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-16215